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SOUTH AMERICAN MEDITATIONS 



FIRST PUBLISHED 1932 

JONATHAN CAPE LTD. 30 BEDFORD SQUARE, LONDON 
AND 91 WELLINGTON STREET WEST, TORONTO 



PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN IN THE CITY OF OXFORD 

AT THE ALDEN PRESS 

PAPER MADE BY JOHN DICKINSON & CO., LTD, 
BOUND BY A. W. BAIN & CO., LTD, 



CONTENTS 

[ THE CONTINENT OF THE THIRD DAY OF CREATION 7 

[I ORIGINAL FEAR 37 

EH WAR 59 

IV BLOOD 83 

V FATE 117 

VI DEATH 143 

VII GANA 157 

VIII DELICADEZA 2O$ 
[X THE EMOTIONAL ORDER 239 
K SORROW 289 
XI THE IN-BREAK OF SPIRIT 325 
KII DIVINA COMMEDIA 355 



FIRST MEDITATION 



THE CONTINENT OF THE THIRD 



DAY OF CREATION 



^ I AHE more days and years elapse, since I stayed in 
I South America, the more clearly do I realize how 

-* much this continent has meant to me. It was a man 
without conscience, yea a real traitor, who first fixed the fleet- 
ing impressions of his life : he had no understanding of that 
law of growth through transformation, which demands a 
forgetting from day to day; and he betrayed his inner 
life to things external and dead which, but for his evil- 
mindedness, would not exist at all. For 'facts' do not exist 
in their own right; they are artificial creations of arbitrary 
abstraction. Originally, there are only total situations, 
incapable of disjunction; to the components of these total 
situations belongs, among other things, what more or less 
all can more or less uniformly experience, if they submit to 
more or less uniform conditions. Certainly, the emphasis 
may be laid on these constants. But then the world narrows 
down and shrinks. That perishes which makes the differ- 
ence between the painting and the palette; vital experience 
vanishes, significance fades away; the quality of uniqueness 
is lost. No Brazilian ever reacted to tactless insistence with 
like displeasure and annoyance, as does the Universe. He 
who has the impudence to urge fixations and statistics upon 
it finds it instantly transformed into a lumber-room; 
whereas it attunes itself with joy, as does a woman, to the 
poetic vision of every true lover. And in both cases it is a 
genuine transformation. For this reason, every man who 
enriched the world with a world truly his own, has proved 
to be right not only for himself: if he was really called to 
the lover's part, then the Universe always again with 
womanly partiality demanded that each and all should 
adopt and share his view. Until another and better lover 
made his appearance. 

This is the Significance of the progressive transformation 

9 



io FIRST MEDITATION 

of the Gods. Primitive cosmogony charged a First Author 
with the entire responsibility for all happenings; and what 
then went beyond the narrow compass of the original pre- 
arranged plan, it divested of its reality by calling it Sin. Very 
logically, man, before the judgment of the sternest and most 
stubborn God of history, has for ever remained an offender. 
As a matter of fact, things are exactly the same here, 
as in the case of the dance in which the sun and the moon 
move around each other: it cannot be determined with 
final certainty which it is that revolves around the other. 
Creator and Creation represent one single insoluble total 
situation, which at every moment changes, or may change, 
in all its dimensions. Therefore, even though in the begin- 
ning everything may have been such as it is registered 
in the entries of the Seven Days' Work: as soon as somebody 
else beside the First Creator had an inspiration of his 
own, everything became different. Even that little intrigue 
between Woman and the Snake succeeded in upsetting the 
foundations of the original scheme. Then Paradise had to 
be left, although it had been intended as a permanency. 
Then happened that most alarming thing alarming as 
viewed from the Original Order of things that the out- 
casts were commanded to work for themselves ; a command 
which gave full scope for every kind of initiative ; soon Cain 
made his appearance, of all men the man who had no possible 
place in the First Plan; and thus things went on and on, 
to so great a disgust and annoyance of all who clung to the 
prejudice of the 'once and for all', that to-day only blind 
belief still preserves the original constellation of the poles 
Creator and Creation. But blind belief as 'religion', that 
is as the affirmation of a tie which unites the One and the 
Whole, is the extreme imaginable expression of despair. 
It means that a vital bond has ceased to exist. For this vital 
bond consists entirely and solely in the organic connexion 
with Creation as it really is: that is, a perpetually changing 



THE CONTINENT OF THE THIRD DAY u 

thing. The maintenance of this relationship does indeed 
pre-suppose belief as the ultimate subjective resort, but 
belief not in the sense of obedience to what is fixed once and 
for all, but understood as the adding of what is personal to 
what belongs to others. Genuine Belief means affirmation 
of the imagination. 

The world has as many possibilities as imagination can 
imagine. There have been as many actual worlds as there 
have been imaginations capable of being substantiated. 
From here we arrive at once at the sole idea of Truth which 
can be called cosmically valid: it is synonymous with the 
idea of correspondence between subject and object. In its 
lowest expression this idea is congruent with Truth in 
the sense of the multiplication table. But just as higher 
mathematics are distinguished from the lower by the fact 
that, as they ascend, they comprehend ever more mutable 
quantities within connexions valid and capable of being 
maintained, even so correspondence may mean, that Creative 
Spirit transforms the world in correspondence to itself. 
Understood thus, and thus only, the concept of a First 
Author, in connexion with what demonstrably happened 
in the sequel, has meaning and content. To this content 
belong not only natural evolution, but also re-Creation 
from out of Spirit. This and nought else is the meaning of 
the world conquests achieved by religions and philosophies. 
As they taught man to take a different view of things 
external, things actually became different. Without any 
kind of metaphysical prejudice, it may be accepted as proven 
that Spirit r0-operates in the formation of the world. And 
in our human world sense-bestowing Spirit, which experi- 
ences for itself, and imposes its own connexions on the 
universe, even means the ultimate resort. Prior to all science 
which only interprets a posteriori given facts, there always 
is religion which primarily bestows meaning and signifi- 
cance. The truth of this assertion has been proven most 



12 FIRST MEDITATION 

impressively by the religion of Matter: this 'religion* has 
peopled our earth with formations which never existed 
before, and has pressed the cosmic forces into tracks never 
trodden hitherto. If to-day its power is on the wane, the 
reason is that it fails to understand its own significance and 
origin: for both lie entirely in the realm of Spirit: in the 
belief in the primacy of matter. But however this may be 
I have no intention of developing a theodicy here what is 
essential in this context, is that World-Creation never 
ceases, and that it depends entirely on Spirit's quality, what 
part it can play in the process. 

Spirit is primarily creative, and not an interpreter. That 
it should so easily degrade itself by assuming the latter's 
r6le, is something akin to the fact that precisely the aristo- 
crat, the master par dSJinition^ is so apt to turn into his 
opposite the servant; for the courtier is the servant par 
excellence. If to-day Spirit serves not - gods, but so-called 
facts ; if it shows itself more cowardly in the face of facts 
than ever an Azteke before his murderous gods, this is like 
the cringing of the same upright men, who dethroned 
kings, before financial magnates. Now all my activity, ever 
since I outgrew the state of my first contemplative spiritu- 
ality, means nothing more nor less than the overcoming 
of this fear. Significance creates the facts; Imagination 
transforms the world; Symbols make history: all my life 
and work bear witness to this truth. And in this there is no 
presumption whatsoever: I am simply putting into practice 
the elementary rights of man. If God were opposed to the 
continuance of this creative activity by man, long ago He 
would have put a stop to it. 

EVEN to-day I cannot think of South America without 
experiencing a feeling of profoundest attachment. It 
is not love, such as I knew of yore ; it is rather what the 
ancient pictures found on African rocks are meant to express, 
when they represent roving man as tied to his far-away 



THE CONTINENT OF THE THIRD DAY 13 

mother by the navel-string. My first words on reaching the 
Argentine shore were: 'I have come not to teach, but to 
learn.' This seemed to open to me the souls of all. From 
that moment I met with such readiness to receive and to 
accept, such an opening-up of souls, that I gave and could 
give and felt urged to give as I have never given before. 
But as thus deeps became correlated to deeps, and the new 
field offerees could fully work itself out, I myself underwent 
a transformation. Those deeps and abysses within me which 
corresponded to the determinant deeps of the South Ameri- 
can world, forced themselves into my consciousness. I 
gained access to the stratum of the Third Day of Creation 
within my own being. That is the layer in which Life, such 
as man is capable of re-living and re-experiencing in imagin- 
ation, first wrested itself from the dead gravity of First 
Matter. In these deeps there is no liberty, there is only 
bondage absolute; their psychic part is ruled by the exact 
correspondence of the material force of gravity. There, 
man primarily experiences the Earth, not Spirit, within him. 
And inasmuch as I first became cognizant of these deeps 
on the continent which since I have called the Continent 
of the Third Day of Creation, I feel tied and attached to 
its soil, and not to my own. 

What deeps within me had been stirred, was first made 
clear to me on the heights of Bolivia. I had had a fore- 
boding of some prodigious experience in store for me there. 
One afternoon, long before I left Europe, the following 
sentence came to my mind without my being conscious of 
its origin: 'The most interesting thing in South America 
is the puna' that alpine disease which occurs within 
the exact limits of determinate beds of ore and is evidently 
caused by their emanations. Thus I entered its range with 
an inward disposition for it. Nevertheless, I was totally 
unprepared for what actually happened. To try to explain 
the puna in terms of altitude is as foolish and irreverent as 



14 FIRST MEDITATION 

to speculate upon various sorts of matches, in order to gain 
some knowledge of Hell. In no time my organic equilibrium 
was destroyed. First, the organs proper of balance failed 
me; then followed symptoms of cerebral inflammation; 
kidneys and liver were gravely affected; the salivary glands 
refused to work, the heart alone held out. This was more 
than an illness, it was a real disintegration of my organism 
just as stone becomes disintegrated by hydrofluoric acid. 
Similar influences, only immeasurably more powerful, must 
have caused the catastrophal transformations of the faunae. 
By my own inner experience I know what those reptiles 
must have felt, when telluric influences put them before the 
alternative either to become mammals, or to die. During 
that illness I felt myself to be a part of the Cosmic Process 
as intimately as the embryo, were it endowed with con- 
sciousness, would experience itself as an element of super- 
individual organic evolution. Then did I realize: among 
other things, I am Earth and pure force of the Earth. I 
am Earth not merely understood as material ; this non-ego 
is an essential part of that which I experience myself to be. 
In the melting-pot of the puna, the constellation of earthly 
elements which I myself incarnate, wrestled with other 
earthly elements of a power far greater than my own. And 
had I not prematurely quitted the scene of action, either 
death or mutation would have been the end, 

For only mutation can create the correspondence to a new 
constellation of elementary forces. One and whole is the 
organism, and always as an integral whole does it adapt 
itself to new constellations. Thus, according to astrology, 
the stars fix the form and the course of a man as an insoluble 
totality in the instant, when he autonomously enters into, 
and takes his place within the cosmic process. The working 
of medicines belongs to the same order of things. If they 
effect so little, wherever the organism is affected in its 
depths, this is because as yet no somatic regulating-centre 



THE CONTINENT OF THE THIRD DAY 15 

provided such a thing actually exists of the organism as a 
whole has been discovered; therefore, every stimulation of 
subordinate centres entails the danger of one organic 
complex being healed at the expense of others. This is why, 
with rare exceptions, man dies when his own hour has come: 
the circumstances which occasion death in each particular 
case are of secondary importance. That material substances 
should have any effect at all, is obviously due to the circum- 
stance that the body is, in the last resort, an earthly thing. 
Already, some of the hormones, those magicians of matter, 
can be created by synthetic chemistry: in principle, all can 
be thus produced. For each and all are forces of the earth, 
that is, forces not exclusively belonging to organic Life; 
what makes them appear exclusively vital is merely the fact 
that Life binds them in a specific manner, be it in the form 
of unconscious regulation or the chemist's art. 

As I was struggling in the melting-pot of the puna for 
my identity, my own Minerality awoke and reached my 
consciousness. And then I learnt to understand in a new 
sense that longing for Death, which ever and again seizes 
me with the compelling force of a vertigo. Death, viewed 
from earthly consciousness, means liberation. What tension, 
what convulsive struggle lies in the necessity to live! Shift- 
ing from one lack of equilibrium to another, a constellation 
of forces, which relatively to each one of its elements is 
an artificial structure, withdraws from and eludes powers 
immeasurably superior. Thus, when the limbs unbend and 
relax, to use Homer's beautiful words on Death, this means a 
true solution. Hence the ineffable peace on the faces of 
those who at the right moment died a natural death. And 
thus, from the angle of earth-consciousness, Buddha was 
entirely right: the Meaning of Life lies in the fact that it can 
cease. Buddha was born under the sign of Taurus. Deeply 
embedded and bound up in material Samsara, he could not 
but feel that dissolution meant liberation. 



16 FIRST MEDITATION 

This overwhelming power of the telluric influences has 
coined man of the Andean heights. It is of symbolic 
significance that as late as the Tihuanacu period the dwel- 
lings of the princes were built in the shape and size of 
tombs : Andean man is actually of a mineral nature. Obvi- 
ously, the emphasis within the organism can be laid in such 
a manner that the characteristics of the mineral become 
determinant. Driesch is right, when he sums up the first 
premise of all possible philosophic reflection in the sentence: 
'I have something consciously/ If having, not Being is the 
first experience, there is no eschewing the logical inference 
that consciousness of Ego and of Spirit need not necessarily 
be a primary phenomenon. As a matter of fact, it is the last 
to make its appearance in the course of natural evolution. 
As far as the experience of organic processes is concerned, 
the fact appears familiar to all, although even this can in no 
wise be understood; for that which, thinks within man 
belongs not to the organic, but to the spiritual world. 
Accordingly, only a history of Creation, in which the primus 
movens is Spirit, can appear at all plausible. It is different, 
where the Unorganic decides. In Alto-Peru I first under- 
stood those myths according to which the dwarf, the catach- 
thonian miner and smith, is the older creature as compared 
to man. Never have I seen such souls of bronze, as the souls 
of those mountain-dwellers; never did anything human 
appear to me so strange, so altogether foreign to myself. 
This inertia, this lentor, this monstrous memory, this 
insensibility immediately below the surface, the sensitive- 
ness of which is identical with the quick incalescence and 
defervescence of metals; this candid disregard of history, 
this dull melancholy which dwells on the near side of the 
mere idea of hope, are truly unorganic. Once this connexion 
has presented itself to the reflecting mind, it no longer 
appears inexplicable, however unintelligible it may remain. 
All the component elements of man co-operate in him; 



THE CONTINENT OF THE THIRD DAY 17 

even that surrounding world which shaped him belongs to 
him as an organic part as well: thus, also the 'spirit* of 
metal, the 'virtue' of the mineral must needs co-operate in 
the formation of the soul. Indeed, does not everyone in 
whom Spirit is not predominant become mineral, as with 
age he draws nearer the Earth? Is it not this that makes old 
age uncanny to youth? Not only the vessels of the body 
soul and mind, too, grow hard and rigid. Typical old age is 
conservative, materialistic, superficial from imperviousness. 
Thus, no myth describes the dwarf otherwise than as a senile 
creature. 

Here, in Bolivia and Alto-Peru, moreover, it is in all pro- 
bability a case of historical age. My intuition tells me that 
these Indians are far older than historical research will have 
it. Why do they live at such insane heights? Very likely 
they fled there, when in the West and the East continents 
or giant isles sank down into the sea. This high-culture 
around Lake Titicaca impresses me as almost inhuman. The 
landscape more harsh than in North Siberia; paralysing 
the mineral emanations, if not murderous. How well 
did I understand here the cult of warmblood and the cult 
of gold as the cult of liquid Sun, free of all weight! These 
steppes at a height of 12000 feet, harsh and bare, livid and 
grey, above which cloudshaped snowclad mountains tower 
almost as high, literally call to mind the age when the earth 
was still 'without form and void'. All the more as they are 
not uninhabited never have I felt a sense of such utter 
desolation as when I saw the flocks of llamas and asses 
driven by sad little men, clad, with a last attempt at self- 
assertion, in flaming red ponchos, the women with the 
grotesque head-dress of grey top-hats. 

While abiding in this fantastic world, my soul could 
not help mythologizing. I write down, as a rememberance, 
the cosmogonic vision that then came to me. It is not likely 
that it should be true to fact, yet I do not think it lacks 



i8 FIRST MEDITATION 

significance. When the man of the mineral age crept forth 
out of his cave, he gave himself up to the care of the llama, 
which was there before him. The llama is of all domestic 
animals the most primordial. It was not man who tamed 
the llama, as it is man who created the dog ; the llama bred 
man in order to give a meaning to its own existence. The 
llama embodies the primeval will to serve; and this is the 
primeval expression of the will to power. The capacity to 
yield is the first characteristic of life; then follows the 
anticipation of desire; last of all comes manifest rule. And 
even to-day this last is the least secure. The llama is all 
things, can do all things, and requires nothing. It need not 
be fed, nor otherwise cared for. But on the other hand it 
clothes, it carries, heats and, after death, nourishes. For the 
lonely shepherd in days of old it even replaced woman 
this seems to be the meaning of the fact that, even to-day, 
on certain occasions the sexual organ of the llama is wor- 
shipped. The Spanish plague even is, according to the 
Indians, a gift of the llama to man. But in its essence the 
llama is the prototype of the responsible housekeeper. 
During my illness, while correspondingly high-strung and 
sensitive, I saw a flock of llamas wandering across country, 
selling its ordure for fuel to the frost-nipped populace. And 
when I became aware of the big lead-llama, a money-box 
tied to its neck, cashing and keeping a sharp eye on the 
money with a look that bade defiance to omnipotence itself, 
I was scared: as it stood there, with neck uplifted, head 
thrown back, lips pursed to spit, it evoked in me a vision of 
that 'first mother of the world', according to a Kabyle 
legend the first creature on earth, as she stood there before 
God the Lord with arms akimbo, asking Him not to 
meddle with what was no business of His. 

Upon these heights, in the beginning was the llama, not 
man. Of the First Mother of the World Frobenius relates: 
'Qnce she was displeased with her maids. The most careless 



THE CONTINENT OF THE THIRD DAY. 19 

she addressed as "You pig 1" Thus, the world knew the word 
"pig" before God had created the pig.' In our world, in 
the beginning was the Word. In South America, the flesh 
was the first of all materializations. Thus, the llama con- 
tinues bodily as a primary principle since the mineral age. 
Almost everywhere, the rooted South American of whatever 
blood is characterized as compared with the European 
and the African by a small, thick-set figure, clumsy body 
and tiny hands and feet. He who would object to this 
definition because of the frequent great beauty of the race, 
should remember that the queen of the llamas is the delicate 
and untamable vicufia, slim and slender like the gazelle ; and 
that here it is a question of prototypes. 

ON the heights of the Cordilleras with their ore-bearing 
beds from which even to-day issue emanations such as, 
in days of yore, suddenly transformed faunae and florae, 
I became conscious of my own minerality. But already when 
my ship neared the coast of Brazil, the basic notes of the era 
succeeding the mineral age sounded within me. That was 
when I became aware of the essential difference between the 
last island bearing African characteristics and the first of the 
Brazilian isles. And I found a kindred landscape cardio- 
gram throughout that continent, wherever the earth was 
not 'without form and void'. A weirdly pale or livid green, 
sometimes with a silvery opalescence; the sun so softened, 
that even in the tropic summer the protecting helm is rarely 
needed; or else a heat not more scorching than in mid- 
summer on the Siberian Tundra. Some of the red and 
yellow rays must be lacking in the South American spectrum. 
Wherever there are no mountains and deserts, the amount 
of water probably exceeds that of all other continents. 
Hence the South American landscape is a reincarnation, 
however softened down, of that equilibrium between the 
animate and the inanimate, which belongs to those earliest 
ages when Life first became determinant in its own right. 



20 FIRST MEDITATION 

South America perpetuates those ages in a similar sense, as 
the Massai steppe in Africa perpetuates the tertiary-period 
of Pikermi in Greece, or the deep-sea the fauna of the 
mesozoic age. It cannot be accidental that as late as the be- 
ginning of our own era, mastodons were hunted by the 
South-American Indians, and megatheria were kept as 
domestic animals. The general distribution of the natural 
forces on this continent is of a kind which has long ceased to 
exist in other parts of the world. The genealogical age of 
later forms of evolution is no more absolute in time than the 
connexion between the Creator and Creation is absolute in 
their mutual relationship. Haeckel misinterpreted the suc- 
cession of the phases of embryonal development by saying 
that the history of the individual is a repetition of generic 
history. The truth is that the cold-blooded creatures did not 
necessarily exist before the warm-blooded in the sense of 
time from the earliest days the existence of most organic 
types can be traced but that the former incarnate a deeper 
layer of life ; a fact which may express itself in all theoretic- 
ally possible manifestations of one identical functional basic 
relationship ; thus, among others, in the form of ontogenetic 
and phylogenetic succession. Therefore, whatever has been 
is virtually existent even to-day, ever ready to be reborn; 
whether and in what manner this happens depends upon the 
fundamental distribution of the forces of the earth. 

In this sense South America is ruled, wherever life has 
detached itself from the realm of minerality, by the spirit 
of the age, the original expression of which is the cold- 
blood. When, still in Europe, I had been meditating the first 
South American souls I had met, I was assailed by visions of 
snakes ; before my eyes arose mottled or tiger-spotted frag- 
ments of trunks of huge pythons, flecked by flashes of light 
filtering through the tree-tops ; bodies welling up and rolling 
forth out of a bottomless opaque pond. In its native land- 
scape this netherworld which lifted to the surface its inner 



THE CONTINENT OF THE THIRD DAY 21 

correspondence within me, took its original elementary 
shape and mould. All colours paled, all firm lines faded 
into each other. I felt encircled and begirdled on all 
sides by coils of writhing larvae ; the first time I saw them, 
the awe-inspiring music of the Dance of the Shades of 
Gluck's Orpheus sounded within me, as though it were the 
necessary accompaniment of the vision. And so it is; only 
in the pace was the great seer mistaken. With slow move- 
ments, like the chameleon of to-day, the brood of the 
netherworld creeps and crawls around in a circle within 
an infinite yet closed space. And least of all do these larvae 
resemble the shades of humans. They are not real snakes, 
but they are like unto snakes; they are most akin to the 
glass-eel, that earliest form of the eel after it has shed its 
larva ; only they are pervious not to light, but, as it were, to 
darkness. When first I saw those cold, slimy bodies crawl- 
ing towards me, and the innumerable staring glassy basilisk- 
eyes fixed upon mine, I was horror-struck. I felt abandoned 
to evil. But soon I realized that neither were they crawling 
towards me, nor did they stare at me ; they were ever moving 
yet without direction nor aim, and with eyes phosphorescent 
and wide-open they were blind. And then it was revealed 
to me that what had first evoked in me the idea of evil is 
simply I ,ife primordial ; the association with Evil is due to 
the fact that a distorting mirror receives its reflection. And 
then I understood, moreover, why nethermost Life must 
needs be reflected in daylight consciousness in the form 
of the snake, as indeed the Chaldeans had but one word for 
Serpent and Life. Our consciousness can only reflect what 
partakes of the quality of light. But the netherworld is 
shrouded in darkness eternal. Thus, its projection onto the 
surface appears, if it does appear, in the shape of a counter- 
shadow, as the opposite of a shadow: the blind as seeing, 
the inert as swift of movement, the invisible as shining. 
Thus, that which 'in itself is the primordial worm, for ever 



22 FIRST MEDITATION 

incapable of rising, glistens forth as the cunning, wicked and 
gem-like snake. 

But, first and foremost, it is never a question of one par- 
ticular animal, nor of many; these coils of writhing bodies 
move on the near side of the cipher; all possible snakes to- 
gether form one single primordial manifoldness, an insever- 
able primordial Something which yet is ever coiling and 
uncoiling, which is ever melting away and re-emerging. 
And as I contemplated this vision, the only adequate expres- 
sion which came to me was 'Yeast of Creation'. This prim- 
ordial Something is the very opposite of anything endowed 
with imagination and soul ; viewed from the earth, there is 
no original world of ensouled images. The primordial 
world is indeed in a state of continuous movement and fer- 
mentation, but it is obtuse and blind ; even to the results of 
psychoanalytic delving which science deems primordial 
with the greatest show of right, it stands in the relationship 
of the movements of the bowels to artistic creation. At 
depths immeasurably profounder than deepest psycholog- 
ical research can grope down to, there are vast domains of 
existence, which, although they also elude definition in 
terms of what is called physical, can only be experienced 
from the body. All those who have not entirely lost touch 
with the earthly 'Mothers', as Goethe called them, have 
experienced at least for short moments what the expression 
'knowledge of the blood' means. 

But even in man there are things profounder than blood. 
Blood is already liquid light. Blood is already Day of Life. 
But before the day there was the coldness of Night. In its 
nethermost layer Life is cold, slimy and viscous; it is jelly 
as opposed to the mineral, inseverable like the tentacles of 
the polyp, rampant, suffocating. Here, the timeless exist- 
ence of the mineral turns into endless development in time; 
here the law of the conservation of energy, which keeps the 
mineral realm in the state of balance of an eternal beauty, 



THE CONTINENT OF THE THIRD DAY 23 

becomes subservient to the law of unlimited rampancy and 
propagation. And this has its primeval limit in murder, 
and the mere possibility of murder means proof positive 
that the equation of life is essentially and eternally incapable 
of solution. And murder was there long before natural 
death, which possibly means a kind of compromise for the 
appeasement of dawning moral sense. 

Procreation perpetuates on all planes the primeval spirit 
of the coldblood. That this is so, is proven also by man, 
wherever his sensuality lives itself out as a detached thing. 
Then does the cold snake crawl forth from the netherworld. 
Hence the glassy eyes of the whores, the pallid look of the 
debauchee; with both, drugs must ever more and more 
replace personal warmth. Hence, in particular, the clammy 
coldness of the onanist. Here, sex belongs in the latrine; 
with worm-like convulsions he gives back to the morass his 
primordial slime. Hence the ugly expression of the men 
who seek nought but sensual satisfaction. Hence the cold 
cruelty of such men and women, in whom primordial in- 
stincts are determinant, when one partner wearies of the 
other; then and there the morals of the dragon directly 
supplant the moral sense of man as he should be; few crimes 
are so foul and infamous as the daily hushed-up phenomena 
of intimate discord. Hence also the frequent bitter, cramped 
and desperate expression of young married couples whose 
consciousness is overwhelmed by hitherto unknown prim- 
ordial impulses. This primeval love is the brother of Death. 
Here, the male frog after the completion of his endless copu- 
lation is the symbol for all creation. Hence, finally, the ugliness 
of all sexual organs. They belong to the netherworld, to the 
Night of Creation ; it is not for nothing that the same forma- 
tions serve to procreate and to excrete. As soon as man aban- 
dons himself to his detached sensuality, he too becomes 'yeast of 
creation'. Then the untold numbers of spermatozoa the male 
ejaculates in every act is the adequate expression of his being. 



24 FIRST MEDITATION 

Original life as a product of the Earth must indeed appear 
evil to day-time consciousness which has grown self- 
assured. Decomposition, foulness, stench are the all-per- 
vading concomitants of procreation ; and all self-preservation 
necessitates ugly and evil actions. This ugliness appears 
one-sidedly exteriorized and materialized in the world of 
snakes and toads. What fiendish imagination was it that 
created those Brazilian giant toads, those living traps and 
chemists' shops, the murderous eyes of which, encircled by 
grotesquely tattooed skin, twinkle pleasantly from out of the 
mud wherein they bury themselves! What a horrible idea 
to create live creatures as professional producers of poison ! 
He who calls to mind its correspondence within the world 
of man, must perforce acknowledge that here it is a case of 
something objectively ugly and evil. But then he must also 
admit that Evil is objectively the basis of all Good; for it 
constitutes its manifestly necessary underworld. In the face 
of this evidence moral considerations are of no avail. The 
conventional praising and extolling of the beauty of nature 
is to a great extent an unconscious attempt to conceal the 
reverse side of the picture; just as all nuptial rites among 
humans mask the actual purpose of the ceremony. Viewed 
as a whole, the Beautiful in nature stands in the same re- 
lationship to the Ugly as the rare blossom to the perennial 
root. Only, that here the root is decomposition, corruption, 
putrefaction, filth, stench, misshape, hideousness and per- 
petual murder as a matter of accepted routine-work. The 
most repulsive phenomena attendant on disease and death 
are not only accessories, but conditions and preliminary 
stages of all renewal. When this became quite clear to me, 
while contemplating the spectacle of growth and decay in 
the Brazilian jungle, where it seems impossible almost 
to determine where death ceases and birth sets in, I realized 
the whole insensateness of the paradox incarnated in the 
Ideal of Purity. This ideal, when transferred to what be- 



THE CONTINENT OF THE THIRD DAY 25 

longs to Earth, is truly hostile to Earth; the conviction it 
carries seems to me to be proof positive of the fact that one of 
our roots is not of this earth : it is an evidence of original 
longing for the overcoming of Earth. In particular, the 
North American endeavour to cleanse earth of all filth once 
and for all, runs directly contrary to sense; it means an 
attempt to overcome darkness and obscurity on earth, too. 
But this is impossible. As long as there is Birth and Death, 
the ideal of purity understood in the earthly sense, can never 
be realized. And as a matter of fact, it does not make for 
progress and advancement, but for sterilization. It not only 
sterilizes food of noxious microbes, but it sterilizes the whole 
of life. All birth proceeds from out of the earth. All coming 
into existence is fraught with filth and horror. What the 
philosophy of pure Spirit would banish to the very depths 
of Hell, is the earthly womb of all Life. No primitive 
painter ever imagined anything more ghastly and horrible 
than what characterizes all primary Becoming. 

In South America the determinant spirit of the Third 
Day of Creation brings this ghastly aspect of Life to the fore 
so that it first impresses one everywhere. There, man invol- 
untarily sees the Magna Mater face to face. I copy out a 
few passages of a novel of the Columbian Jos Eustasio 
Rivera La Voragine which, whatever its merits as a work 
of art, must be recognized as the grandest epopee of the 
deadly jungle which has as yet been written. There 
Rivera describes an invasion of the Tambochas, those ter- 
rific carnivorous ants, real wasps without wings, with scarlet 
heads and lemon-coloured bodies which triumph like fire 
in the prairie wherever they appear by virtue of the terror 
their poison strikes into all creation. 'This dense, rank 
wave which devours birds, rats, reptiles and puts to flight 
whole peoples of man, penetrates into every hollow, every 
rift, every crevice, into every tree, every leaf, every nest and 
hive.' Then Rivera goes on to speak of the termite: 'It 



26 FIRST MEDITATION 

makes the trees sicken and droop as though tainted with 
galloping syphilis; invisible on the surface it grinds down 
the tissues and the bark, until of a sudden they heavily 
collapse . . .' 'But in the meanwhile the earth again and 
again works renewal. At the foot of the rotting giant the 
germ shoots up ; in the midst of the miasma flies the pollen ; 
the atmosphere is heavy with the breath of fermentation, 
hot vapours of the dusk, the scent of death, the marasm of 
procreation. . . .' 

'Where is the poetry of solitude? Where are the butter- 
flies like unto transparent flowers, the magic birds, the 
melodious brook? How poor the imagination of poets who 
know none other than tame solitude ! No amorous night- 
ingales, no gardens a la Versailles, no sentimental panor- 
amas ! Here dwell the responses of bloated toads ; here are 
the pent waters round rotting reeds. The aphrodisiac para- 
site is the master here, strewing the earth with dead bees; 
here is the varied wealth of obscene flowers contracting like 
sexual organs, whose sticky odour inebriates like a drug; 
here is the malignant liana whose downy beard blinds the 
animals ; and the pringamosa which enflames the skin . . . 
And in the nights unknown voices, phantasmagoric lights, 
funereal silence. Death passes on its way and gives life. 
There is the sound of fruit crashing down with the promise 
of seed as it bursts ; the fall of the leaf filling the mountain 
recesses with vague sighs, and offering itself as dung to the 
parent tree; the crunching of jaws eating for fear of being 
eaten; the squealing of the disturbed, the moans of the 
dying, the belching of creatures easing themselves. And 
when the burning dawn reveals its tragic splendour above 
mountain peaks, the tumult of the surviving sets in : the 
cooing of doves, the grunting of boars, the grotesque 
laughter of the monkeys. All this for the short joy of living 
a few hours longer . . . ! 

'This sadistic and virgin forest fills the soul with the 



THE CONTINENT OF THE THIRD DAY 27 

hallucination of constant and imminent danger. The plant 
is a sensitive being of a psychology to us unknown. If it 
speaks to us in this vast solitude, its language can only be 
understood by forebodings and conjectures. Beneath their 
pressure the nerves grow tense like ropes preparing for 
attack, for traps, for treachery. The senses exchange their 
virtues : the eye hears, the back sees, the nose explores the 
horizons, the feet calculate and the blood clamours: let us 
flee ! let us flee ! "We have lost our way." In the midst of 
these forests and mountains these words, so simple and usual 
in themselves, cause such an explosion of terror, that even 
the sauve qui peut of utter defeat cannot compare with it. 
Before the soul of him who hears them there arises the vision 
of a man-eating gulf. It is the forest itself which stands 
there, its jaws set wide open to swallow up any human being 
whom hunger and despair drive into its teeth . . .' 

This is what Life is in its nethermost depths. Thus does 
it present itself even to-day, unveiled and cynically frank, in 
the morass world of the coldblood. 

IF the spirit of the mineral can determine a whole land- 
scape, the same is true of the spirit of the snake. Of the 
layer within me which corresponds to the serpent I also 
became conscious on South American soil. First, this grow- 
ing consciousness manifested itself in the form of projections. 
Not only did I, again and again, have visions of snakes 
I saw more amphibia and reptiles into the landscape than I 
actually beheld, and I fancied primordial backgrounds even 
behind the most shallow creatures of the foreground. But 
soon the true relationship of the 'within me' and the 'with- 
out me' was established. South America is indeed 'Yeast of 
Creation' like no other continent on earth. More creative 
imagination is here fixed in Nature than anywhere else. No 
continent produces, even approximately, such numbers of 
medicinal herbs, poisons, and food-plants. Nowhere else 
does the world of the plant and the coldblood manifest it- 



28 FIRST MEDITATION 

self so luxuriantly and obtrusively luxuriantly in every 
sense of the word. The skin of Brazilian frogs is endowed 
with faculties which the greatest medical and technical genius 
might envy them. The Amazonas alone is said to harbour 
one thousand one hundred kinds of fish known only there; 
and in the jungles covering its basin dwell hardly less species 
of birds and insects than throughout the rest of the world 
taken as a whole. In how densely specified a form nature 
appears there as yeast of creation is best illustrated by the 
following account of an expedition to a pool in the Brazilian 
jungle.* I write it down as a symbol; on all planes corres- 
pondences may be found; but the monstrousness of pre- 
cisely this description is best suited to the purpose I envisage. 
First of all the night atmosphere: 'Between the trees the 
turbid water was rippling gently beneath the fiery red of the 
blazing moon ; the melancholy call of birds sounded in the 
gloaming, an almost inaudible rustle of wind went whis- 
pering through leaf and reed. But then the water was 
stirred with weird motion : a gurgling, splashing and rust- 
ling, an ever wilder spattering and plashing. The whole of 
the dead water was heaving with invisible life. And gradu- 
ally I began to understand what kind of life this was and 
my hair stood on end. Those were crocodiles. The whole 
pool seemed literally to consist only of crocodiles ! And now 
at night the reptiles were apparently falling upon each other; 
a continuous hollow bawl and roar arose from the centre of 
the pool; a furious lashing of tails, a loud rattling of jaws, 
a foaming bubbling of the water; and over the crest of the 
surging waves flashed the dusky red reflexes of the spectral 
moon. I felt carried back twenty million of years to the 
primeval world this is what the nights at the Jurassic sea 
must have been like, when the fights of the ichthyosaurians 
were raging amid the vapours of carbonic acid clouds, and 

* Quoted from an article by Arthur Heye in Die Neue Schweixer 
Rundschau (Zurich) August, 1930. 



THE CONTINENT OF THE THIRD DAY 29 

the lurid light of the still fiery moon gleamed down upon 
the scene.' Heye then goes on to relate the next morning's 
hunt: 'The vayueiros went down into the shallow water 
armed with sticks, and began to stir up whatever living 
thing there was; and these living creatures without a single 
exception were crocodiles, crocodiles, crocodiles. The ar- 
moured giant-lizards must have lain on the top of each other 
in this lagon like packed herrings, otherwise they could not 
have found room in it. For through the narrow branch of the 
water near which I stood no less than five hundred came 
passing by ... Just before the vaqueiros had reached the 
centre of the pool, it had turned into a swarming chaos of 
crocodiles. In wild terror the armoured giants came hurry- 
ing along, driven by the shrieking, poking men ; rushed up 
on either side of the channel on to dry land like seething surf, 
waddled away across the dry ground in uncouth haste ; then, 
like the swirl in the wake of a ship, they shot through the 
shallow water, swarming close-pressed like a shoal of her- 
rings; and the clubs of the vaqueiros following in their 
track were continually crashing down upon the armoured 
skulls.' 

This spirit of the Yeast of Creation is dominant in the 
landscape of South America, wherever the earth is not 'with- 
out form and void'. Wherever new life comes into exist- 
ence on that soil, it at once acquires the character of a prim- 
ordial beginning. This is true of the Argentine. To its 
original landscape correspond only the extinct prehistoric 
animals; first and foremost the huge edentates. And the 
few ancient forms of life still extant there, all, one way or 
another, impress one as being antidiluvian : the ombu, the 
sole native tree of the pampa, more sponge than wood, a 
pseudomorphosis resembling those lizards which, in days 
of old, anticipated in the form of a sketch the mammals of 
a subsequent period; the armadillo, the guanaco, the os- 
trich; that great yellow bird with its jazzy screech which 



30 FIRST MEDITATION 

builds wasps' nests; Patagonian hare, a rudimentary blend 
of stag and antelope. But whatever is truly characteristic 
of the present-day Argentine has, without an exception, been 
imported. Without European grasses, the pampa of to-day 
would not exist; had not Cook discovered Australia, it 
would lack that vertical element it is to-day impossible to 
imagine as absent : the eucalyptus. The real fauna of the 
Argentine consists of imported domesticated animals, cattle 
and horses run wild, but in such numbers and of so monstrous 
a fertility, as though they were frogs. The coldblooded 
creatures as such play but a small part in the Argentine land- 
scape. But owing to the spirit of the continent of the Third 
Day of Creation the warmblood itself participates in the cold- 
blood-modality of life. The masses of cattle of the pampa can 
only be understood in terms of the 'Yeast of Creation*. And 
the same holds true of the animality of Argentine man. How- 
ever much he may differ from the South American of the 
tropic zone he is yet a special expression of a general type, 
so that from a high point of vantage one involuntarily in- 
cludes in a single glance the Brazilian, the Venezuelan and 
the Argentine. If the different nations of South America 
think themselves more distant one from the other than are 
the European nations ; if they refuse to have anything to 
do with each other, and actually hardly come in touch; 
if at best they despise, hate or deride each other, this again 
denotes nothing but primordiality : the nearer its earthly 
origin a life, the more it is exclusive. Only when seen from 
a sufficient distance does the homogeneity of the peoples 
emerge as the primary phenomenon. And there again the 
traits belonging to the coldblood jump to the eyes as being 
the first characteristic common to all. In the following I 
shall simplify and generalize, and although there is much 
which does not hold good for some types in the ratio of 
weight, such as I am describing it here, it is absolutely true 
in the qualitative and differential sense. South American 



THE CONTINENT OF THE THIRD DAY 31 

man is essentially inarticulate. The more silent, the pro- 
founder he is. The more serious a conflict, the more does he 
control his voice. Important things are never clearly ex- 
pressed; they are merely hinted at. Inversely, mere hints 
are immediately understood. Here, Spirit shuns the light. 
Here, the contact which for man of the upper world is 
created through the medium of speech, is based on silence. 
All intellectuality characteristic of the country is of a pas- 
sive kind, the faces are fixed and rigid. That inscrutable 
dull expression, blind and at the same time lurking and 
sinister, which belongs to so far greater a number of people 
in South America than can possibly be bad, mirrors the 
look of the amphibia and reptiles of that continent. Even 
that glorious enthusiasm of the South American, which 
occasionally breaks forth like a volcanic eruption, has some- 
thing of the serpent about it: it resembles the queenly 
anaconda throwing herself out but immediately after- 
wards relapsing into brooding apathy. And when first 
I met there with spiritually striving humanity, the aboriginal 
symbol of Mexico, the plumed Serpent, of itself came to my 
mind. 

Such a reptilization of man is by no means incomprehens- 
ible. As soon as the dominant notes of the Third Day of 
Creation are sounded, a general picture similar to what has 
been outlined here inevitably merges. Mere hypertrophy 
of sensuality, due to influences of earth and atmosphere, 
already works in that direction. In this connexion I may 
do well in inserting some descriptions of surface. The at- 
mosphere of Rio de Janeiro is one single aphrodisiasm. 
That of the virgin forest is over-exciting. But in the cooler 
climes the spirit of the landscape creates monstrous potency 
and fertility. Thus, the assimilation of the immigrants to 
the new soil manifests itself most strongly in the awakening 
of frenzied sexual desire. Sexual potency means more to 
the Argentines than to any other men on earth. Their life 



32 FIRST MEDITATION 

is bent on sensual satisfaction and procreation in a way un- 
like any other type of man I have ever known. But since 
this is thought a matter of course there, this life, even where 
it is frankly vice, has all the innocence of the Yeast of Crea- 
tion, of the pond in spawning time. In South American 
brothels, there is no shrill lewdness, but the silence of con- 
centrated procreation, and in the intervals of inactivity 
something like the peaceful mood of curfew-time. I remem- 
ber a dinner given to me by men of the worlds of official 
science and politics in a primitive brothel: its atmosphere 
was comfortable and homely like the house of a cattle- 
breeding farmer. Thus also the world of the slave-dealers 
and procurers in South America is distinguished by the 
fact that the girls are not merely used as a means of earning 
money, but that they are cared for as well. It is typical of 
those brought to the Argentine and Brazil, that they do not 
come to an unhappy end. The real queridas^ the mistresses, 
have a distinctly brilliant position. The highest in rank 
among them, mostly women of exceeding beauty, are imported 
in the same way as an oriental sultan collects the loveliest 
maidens for his harem; many a married woman in Europe 
might envy them their position. There are the most diverse 
circles and ranks of queridas which do not interfere with each 
other, and mostly know nothing of their mutual existence; 
they co-exist like the various species of animals in nature. 
In so far even vice and family life do not come into conflict. 
The family is the sanctuary, because the man desires this 
too, and even in the first place, where he enjoys a detached 
sensual life besides ; here he is the tender and careful patri- 
arch. The girls are chaste, the women faithful it is thus 
that the original order of nature would have it. The families 
are true breeding grounds; there are stupendous numbers 
of children. Whether with regard to the brothel or the 
family on this soil I was, again and again, led to think of 
the French verbs grouiller, pulluler. 



THE CONTINENT OF THE THIRD DAY 33 

And always with the shade of meaning expressive of the 
ebullient procreation of the coldblood. This is why South 
America so easily impresses the superficial observer as a 
pool of vice. A pool it is indeed ; only the idea of vice does 
not belong here. And if many phenomena there belong to 
the range of vice, this is true merely in this sense, that there 
are not only mammals, but also salamanders and toads. This 
coldblood quality impresses one as something weirdly para- 
doxical, until one has learnt to understand ; for the Argen- 
tine in particular is also the country of cordiality, impulsive- 
ness and spontaneity. The women are of a great sweetness, 
and since the whole order of life is rooted in feeling and 
emotion, the warmest of atmospheres ought to pervade the 
continent. This conclusion seems so obvious, that for a long 
time my imagination construed the existence of this warmth. 
I was wrong nevertheless. Here, tenderness, gentleness, 
sweetness, and friendliness are essentially qualities apper- 
taining to the coldblooded creatures: chilly in himself, the 
man of these latitudes instinctively adjusts his whole life to 
being warmed through pleasing impressions. He responds 
to warmth like no other man, but he has none himself. He 
is permeable to warmth as well as to coldness like the cold- 
blood; this is why South American women have a horror 
unknown elsewhere of all hardness; anger to them is vice; 
in warm passionateness they sense foremost the violence 
underlying it, and violence they cannot bear. But on the 
other hand in their heart of hearts they desire to be violated; 
they want to be able to remain entirely passive, completely 
irresponsible; and the sexual success South American men 
so frequently have in Europe is due to the fact that, despite 
their delicacy, they violate as a matter of course. Dr. Grod- 
deck is not quite mistaken, when he says, that primitive 
woman recognizes but one proof of love violation. 

In the frenzied reptilian sexuality of the South American 
also lies one of the roots of the deep sadness pervading the 



34 FIRST MEDITATION 

continent. Post coitum animal triste. The mood of the ex- 
hausted male frog or of the female bursting with the abun- 
dance of its eggs is dominant there. Just as man feels swal- 
lowed up in the primeval forest of the Amazonas, even so 
does he feel engulfed in the morass of the netherworld within 
himself. The exuberance of South American life never 
stands under the sign of joy. Argentine life I called una 
vida a la sordina^ a life with the mute put on. The streets 
are wrapt in semi-darkness by night ; the faces are impassive, 
the voices subdued in speaking; externally, the extreme of 
decorum is observed. But all this for the purpose of shroud- 
ing and concealing the morass within the souls. 

But hence, also, on the other hand, the South American's 
peculiar bent for beauty. Does this urge exist anywhere on 
earth without an ugly subsoil? Was it not born everywhere 
on the Third Day of Creation? Nowhere else do stones so 
frequently refine to gems as in South America. The original 
significance of the emerald, the ruby and the turmalin is 
incarnated on the animal plane in the coral snake, the giant 
butterfly, the humming-bird, and above all in the abundant 
family of the gem-fish of the Amazonas. Thus, also, self- 
realization in the form of beauty is a primary aspiration of 
the South American, as it is in no other man of these days. 
As yet he is apt to impress one as being but half formed, a 
raw product or sketch of Nature. What was intended as 
perfect beauty, remains a mere co-existence of scintillant 
surface and abysmal Being. Hence the appearance of the 
rastaquaire so typical for this part of the world: his extrava- 
gant and false elegance, his diamond-studded turn-out, his 
showy exhibition of a mostly non-existent and certainly 
highly insecure wealth are not the characteristics of the 
essential impostor, but of the incongruency of Being and 
form ; the rastaquaire honestly longs to be what he can only 
make a show of. But for this very reason his descendants 
will one day be what he desires to be. 



THE CONTINENT OF THE THIRD DAY 35 

IN the context of this first meditation I have chiefly laid 
on the ground-colour and painted a few easily discernible 
lights and shades on to it. Let us now revert to the point 
where I said that I feel more tied to the soil of South Ameri- 
ca than to the earth of my own country. The connexion 
with the soil always is a connexion with the netherworld. 
Only most people are unaware of the meaning of this sen- 
tence, because they feel related to the earth by the tie of 
blood. The plant 'Man' may certainly be bound up with 
its landscape from the roots upwards to its crown ; and this is 
true of most people with regard to their native landscape. 
Yet the profoundest, the real relationship is based upon the 
coldblood element within man. And only from out of this 
can the Significance of Earth and of what belongs to it be 
grasped aright. 

The revelation of this Significance is what I owe to the 
contact with South America. South America has given me 
far more than India and China. The Chinese as well as the 
Hindu is closely akin to me, for he, too, lives from out of 
Spirit; thus his difference from me means no more to me 
than does the difference of the French and English language. 
Now the South American is entirely and absolutely Man 
of the Earth. He embodies the polar opposite of the man 
conditioned and permeated by Spirit. Thus, I was unable 
to hold my own against him by means of my hitherto- 
developed organs of understanding; new ones had perforce 
to evolve. This did not take place without pain and travail. 
Just as the Bolivian puna threatened to disintegrate my 
body, even so the vibration in tune with the foreign rhythm 
of the Argentine for a long time endangered the balance 
of my soul. This found its expression for the body is the 
dial of the time-piece of Life in protracted attacks of 
arhythmia perpetua, this being the symptom of the inter- 
ference of incompatible melodies. But this very danger 
hastened the formation of new organs. As they developed, 



36 FIRST MEDITATION 

I gained a novel perspective with regard to reality: the per- 
spective from the point of view of Earth. From there, every- 
thing assumes a totally different aspect from what it looks 
from the vantage of Spirit. But many things can only thus 
be seen at all. These things and problems and solutions, 
new to me, which have since come into my range of vision 
in the course of an organic process of growth, will be the 
subject and content of the following meditations. 



SECOND MEDITATION 



ORIGINAL FEAR 



AS I lay ill with the puna, and my overwrought brain 
made possible that lucidity of the inner eye known 
only to the sick, I had a strange vision. I was hover- 
ing high above the sea. Far below, very small, I saw the 
South American continent as it is outlined on the map. At 
the same time, petrel-like, I was skimming over the icy 
foaming waves surging up from the Antarctic. And there 
I beheld, very near and yet afar, a mysterious being. An 
indefinable body: at once woman, snake, kraken and amoe- 
ba; with hands and feet folding and unfolding like tentacles, 
melting into each other like pseudopodia; and with a 
woman's small and shapely head. Its delicate nose with 
vibrating nostrils incessantly scenting the air, searching the 
horizons, the monster pressed forward poised on the crest 
of the billows, anon darkling between two waves ; now livid 
and pale like a calamary; then flashing silvery scales and 
then again gently iridescent with all the hues of the moon- 
stone against the background of the sombre tide. And 
equally fleeting was the expression of its face. It was rigid 
like that of a snake; but the splendidly chiselled human 
features were so entirely irregular, that every view of them 
revealed a different face. Even as sunlight and cloud-drifts 
in a storm throw ever varying shades of colour across the 
ocean, even so did divine beauty and hell-born ugliness, 
gentleness and malignity drift across the mute visage. One 
expression alone remained throughout: an expression of 
hunger, of so tremendous, so unutterable a hunger, that 
even out of the classic features of the beautiful woman 
loomed forth something of the wolfhound. 

Not lightly and triumphantly did it drift along it 
toiled northward with unspeakable trouble, searching con- 
vulsively like one drowning. Anon it weltered in the surge, 

39 



40 SECOND MEDITATION 

distress in its gaze, sending forth wailing cries across the 
watery waste, and I could not tell, was it a sobbing woman 
throwing herself about in her pillows, or a barking sea-lion. 

With this image primodial consciousness broke through 
within me. It is a consciousness of Original Weakness, 
Original Hunger, and Original Fear. Nature which I find 
outside myself I am not. Nor am I that Nature which I feel 
within myself. Thus, originally I am nought but suffering 
experience. Prior to all questions, all answers and responses 
are there. To all influences the soul responds; it cannot 
refuse to respond, and when itself asks a question, there is 
no answer, and none of its commands find a hearing. On all 
sides the soul feels overpowered; it would flee, and yet again 
it would not, for on that which overpowers it depends 
its existence. Only in eating its way through creation does 
it see any hope of safety and salvation, just at the worm 
eats its way through the earth. Thus, hunger is the original 
expression of the autonomous stirring of life; and thus 
insatiability is the original form of hunger. Life would 
absorb into its body the entire universe, and thus eat its 
way out of all danger. Thus even the nightingale daily 
devours several times its own weight; thus it is the eternal 
dream of human understanding one day to swallow the 
World. Nevertheless, Life in its nethermost depths knows 
that its hunger is unappeasable, and that Nature's over- 
whelming power is irresistible. And from all this arises 
Fear. 

And furthermore Fear arises from the presentiment of 
the existence of Spirit and its might, and the consciousness 
of the ultimate weakness of all nature in the face of Spirit. 
For the soul of nature has not got Spirit for its Self and Sub- 
ject. There is no thing animate, surely no thing animal, 
which does not somehow participate in the principle of 
Spirit; but only in the highest expression of humanity is it 
determinant. Yet all creation which, however darkly it be 



ORIGINAL FEAR 41 

aware of the fact, partakes of Spirit, has a dim perception of 
its power. If to-day that dwarf called man succeeds in pres- 
sing into his service the primordial forces of the Earth, it is 
because, judged from the spirit, they are quite weak. Spirit 
enters into Nature as a deus ex machina ; it circumvents 
Nature or casts a spell over it by ways against which Nature 
lacks all means of defence. Primitive races are right, when 
they hold magic to be the original manifestation of Spirit ; 
for the very reason that they are closer to Nature, their 
judgment here is more exact than that of intellectual man. 
Every scientific formula too is at bottom a magic formula: 
a mere 'charm with words* compels Nature to change its 
course. In the face of the right magic formula magic in 
the fairy-tales demands exactitude precisely in the same 
sense as does the forming of equations in the science of the 
physicist in the face of the right magic formula Nature is 
absolutely powerless. But long before any living thing is 
capable of practising sorcery, it succumbs to sorcery; and of 
this it is dimly aware; hence the defencelessness of the bird 
before the snake, which yet only seems to cast a spell. I know 
of no animal which is not familiar with the uncanny as we 
understand and experience it; and the uncanny always 
means some agency which comes athwart the normal course 
of Nature. In so far fear of the Spirit stirs and trembles 
within the earliest rudiments of mental images. And this 
fear in its turn re-acts in a paralysing manner; thus a circle 
is closed like the one drawn by man in which the hen turns 
here and there and finds no way out : this is by no means a 
phenomenon of hypnosis, as mechanistic interpretation 
would have it, but a manifestation of true magic spell. For 
the mechanical effect of suggestion presupposes in the first 
place the agency of a word or image which crosses and 
thwarts the normal course of Nature; and precisely this 
is magic. 

Thus in the first place all animals are afraid, of Spirit as 



4* SECOND MEDITATION 

well as of Nature. This is why there is no animal courage. 
Precisely the most formidable among them are fearsome, un- 
less primordial force breaks forth violently through them, 
and thereby makes them blind ; for precisely they feel most 
completely overpowered. Their courage never is free initia- 
tive; it is passive yielding to superior force which breaks 
forth, as a force foreign to their consciousness, from out of 
the darkness of the inner world. The basic mood of the lion 
and the tiger, as in the past of the antediluvian dragons, is 
Fear, They are filled with a dull dread, just as primitive 
races in their twilight-consciousness have an obscure dread 
of raising their voices during their negotiations, or of keep- 
ing hold of their weapons or walking fast, lest the demons 
within them awake and break loose. 

It seems to me to be of a symbolic significance that the 
first animals should have been Crustacea or mullusca. Prior 
to the open house there was the fortress. Before individual 
warmth made possible a closed state inwardly conditioned, 
permeability was the best weapon of defence, if an armour 
was lacking. Thus mullusca are either transparent, or else 
they freeze and dry up in unison with frost and heat or they 
regenerate any members they have lost, or multiply when 
they are torn to pieces, or finally their reactions are so dull 
or so slow, that they are unassailable on the near side of 
death. There is complete liberation from fear for the im- 
potent only in complete insensibility. Hence the cult of 
apathy of the Indian, in whom the snake lives nearest the 
surface: this insensibility does not mean stoicism, for the 
strong man affirms a sovereign Spirit within him which no 
external world can shake. The Indian possesses no such 
inner world of his own; his ideal is no longer to feel, just 
like the snake which mutely lets itself be hewn to pieces. 
The last organic symbol of the original impotency of Life 
is man's nakedness. The sublimest expression of Original 
Fear is shame. On every stage the game begins anew. 



ORIGINAL FEAR 43 

Spiritual creativeness, too, begins with the building of fort- 
resses and with softness the softness of understanding. 
OUT of Original Fear follows Evil. Originally, viewed 
from the Earth, there is neither Evil nor Good, but 
simply primordial Life such as it is; and no living being 
honestly wishes it to be different, because therewith it would 
have to wish away its own primordial life which is the pre- 
mise of its capacity to wish. But the first shadow of fear 
which presupposes consciousness however obscure, turns 
existence into Evil. When viewed from the idea underlying 
torture, the Significance of the process appears most obvious. 
Just as in the beginning there was murder and not natural 
death, even so the passion to torment precedes the urge to 
destroy. And this from out of the dim perception of ultimate 
impotency and futility. All torturing is the expression of 
dimly felt helplessness : the impotency of making the vic- 
tim suffer the full measure of the fear the torturer himself 
self feels in his heart of hearts. The Unconscious is not 
satisfied with destruction it requires the perpetual fear, 
the perpetual agony of the other for its own security. Now, 
even as torturing is the result of fear, even so all Evil is not 
a primary cause, but a first consequence. 

Original Fear of itself endows that which inspires dread 
with terrifying attributes. Thus, in those ages when Nature 
still invented on a grand scale as freely as does our imagina- 
tion on a very small scale to-day, those monsters came into 
existence, the mere skeletons of which inspire terror. As a 
matter of fact, all those beasts of terror appear far more for- 
midable than they actually are; probably the South Ameri- 
can mud-devil, supremely malignant according to all 
human standards, is before God a creature more guileless, 
honest and well-meaning than the most harmless of 
philistines. But once fear is the womb of creation, it must 
needs bring forth things of terror. 

But wherever the world of the Third Day of Creation is 



44 SECOND MEDITATION 

not terrifying, its essence is seduction. And therewith I 
arrive at the original expression of Evil. Abysmal life is 
suffering experience devoid of personal activity. The first 
consciousness of growth and development leads not to the 
query: 'What am I doing?' but to the question: 'What is 
happening to me?' 'Was I all this?' the question asked by 
Goethe's Helena after her history has been unfolded to her 
by Phorkyas, is the expression of original wonder. First, 
Life knew of Fate, not of Will. Now the first possibility 
of escaping Fate which was offered to it thanks to the 
awakening of a first faint initiative, consisted in disguise 
and deceit. Hence the Original Lie. Spirit first appeared 
on earth in the guise of the actor. The batrachian played 
being mud, the serpent acted the foliage or the branch, the 
butterfly played the hornet. Everywhere, the first impulse 
of the savage is to conceal and veil the truth. Why does one 
call the serpents false those most indolent and least 
imaginative of all beasts? Because, one way or another, they 
deceive and thus seduce. In Butanton near Sao Paulo in 
Brazil, that world-famed snake-farm, I was surprised by the 
indolently pleasant expression of the most horrible of the 
venomous snakes ; they lay there like fat becalmed mothers 
of twenty children. Whereas the harmless serpents were 
constantly on the alert, looking fierce and wrathful, respond- 
ing to the slightest provocation with swift attack. In answer 
to my questions I was told that I might assume with toler- 
able safety that a dangerous exterior argues harmlessness 
and vice versa. Thus one may generalize by asserting : in the 
beginning was not Man, but Woman ; not Truth, but the 
Lie. Women who are close to the primordial depths even 
to-day and even on the highest summits of culture incarnate 
the modality of Being belonging to primordial Life. Whether 
such women ever tell the truth with a clear conscience, I can- 
not tell ; certainly they never lie with a bad conscience, ex- 
cepting when the education of children demands truthful- 



ORIGINAL FEAR 45 

ness as a matter of technique. But the 'mother' is something 
widely differing from 'Woman'; as a mother Woman acts 
from a higher plane similar to the Pope who, in deciding ex 
cathedra, is infallible as opposed to the fallible private man. 
And in another dimension, the wife who grasps the meaning 
of marriage, or the lover who is a true partner of a man's 
destiny, rises above the plane of primeval womanhood; 
she lives from out of a spiritual connexion. Yet nothing 
could be more mistaken than to draw inferences concerning 
the original character from these life-forms permeated by 
Spirit. Primordial Woman is completely unchecked by any 
spiritual or ethical motives. She is entirely rooted in the 
world of the Third Day of Creation. This is why beauty 
with woman means so much as opposed to the little it means 
with man: her attractive qualities are a true expression of 
her self; it is not, as with man, a manifestation of the genus 
with which the individual is connected only by what does 
not essentially distinguish him. This is why woman is 
originally devoid of moral sense. This is why the real ele- 
ment of her life is disguise and deceit. This is why her 
womanhood dwindles in every world of exclusively de- 
terminant truthfulness, such as the North American world 
of to-day; this is why man becomes enmeshed and enslaved 
by primeval woman, by Carmen, by She,* and by her alone, 
for she catches him there where Spirit and Freedom do not 
reach down to. 

No wonder that exclusively spiritual religions in their 
heroic early days stigmatized woman as intrinsically sinful. 
What is false, not what destroys is originally held to be evil. 
Only treachery and crafty deception are thought evil by 
elementary consciousness, whereas killing in open fight is 
held to be noble and therefore good. Thus, not only the 
cunning tricks and artifices of woman appear wicked all 
her deceptive and seductive ways of holding her own, must 

* The heroines of the novels of Prosper Mrime*e and Rider Haggard. 



46 SECOND MEDITATION 

needs impress man as being evil. But woman is 'evil' only 
in so far as primordial Life is 'evil'. What is considered 
intrinsically feminine to-day belongs to the character of 
primordial Life : Original Impotency which expresses itself 
in the form of passivity, Original Fear and the Original 
Lie. 

These characteristics of primordial Life manifest them- 
selves most purely on the continent determined by the 
Spirit of the Third Day of Creation. Proceeding from the 
general Significance of Original Evil, we can fully compre- 
hend the true nature of the South American's reptility. 
Shortly before his death, almost in the sense of a legacy, 
the great Bolivar wrote: 'No hay fe en America, ni en los 
hombres, ni en las naciones. Sus tratados son papeles; 
sus constituciones, libros; sus elecciones, combates; la 
libertad, anarquia; y la vida, un tomento.'* La vida un 
tormento the word means more than torment, more than 
torture; its basic note indicates Torment of Hell. For Boli- 
var, who looked upon all things from the politician's view- 
point, Life's netherworld was the whole of Life. The proto- 
type of the South American as a political animal is the com- 
padrito. The concept originated in the suburbs of Buenos 
Aires. The compadre, the sponsor or godfather, played a 
decisive and distinctly beautiful part in the life of the gaucho, 
whose proud and lonely poverty found its sole social sup- 
port in a noble ethos of friendship. In Buenos Aires, how- 
ever, the 'sponsorship' which had been taken over from the 
gaucho became in a corrupt and perverted form the cement 
binding together that particular underworld, which is the 
natural train of followers and means of action belonging to 
the South American chieftain; and in this latter sense I 
shall apply the term compadrito to the corresponding class 

* 'There is no faith nor loyalty in America, either in the individual or 
the nations. Its treaties are scraps of paper; its constitutions books; its 
elections fights; its freedom anarchy, and its life a torment.' 



ORIGINAL FEAR 47 

of men throughout the continent. The South American 
chieftain, the caudillo, who in the case of decisive victory 
becomes the dictator, is the coldest of the coldbloods. He is 
impenetrable, taciturn, more of a magician than a hero, 
passive and biding time and opportunity till the moment 
of making a lightning-like grasp has come; he never 
forgets; he is vindictive, wily, tenacious, cruel from utter 
callousness beneath a most courteous surface; in short, 
that which is understood by the word taimado in South 
America (not in Spain !) ; if he be cast in a large mould, he 
has the grand qualities of the giant snake. But his train of 
followers is reptilian in the lowest sense of the word. Venal 
men, slanderers, blackmailers, sycophants, hypocrites, toad- 
eaters and willing tools to dark machinations may be found 
all the world over. But never have I seen men of this kind, 
which thrive in all democracies, whose basic attitude was 
so ugly as in South America, and who, in the slimy cohesion 
of their 'sponsorship' among themselves and of their rela- 
tion as clients of the chief impressed me so strongly as a 
netherworld. Owing to the fact that the cold substratum 
within them is near the surface, they display the expressions 
of resentment, treachery and possible revenge as openly as 
amphibia exhibit their amphibianism. Nevertheless, or rather 
for this very reason, they are more harmless than their species 
in latitudes where the warmblood determines : as toads feeling 
they have a right to live in a toad-world, they have a clear con- 
science in being ugly. And Original Fear dwells so near the 
surface that they only become dangerous on serious provo- 
cation. They are moreover susceptible to understanding 
and kindly treatment like lizards to the warmth of the sun ; 
and he who takes them for what they are and that means, 
above all, never to rely upon the working of moral motives 
within them will find them quite pleasing. Nevertheless, 
this world of the compadritos is evil in the same sense as 
the world of toads. 



48 SECOND MEDITATION 

In the same sense, the women of South America furnish 
a perfect illustration of the truth than in the beginning was 
not Man, but Woman. Uncontrolled to an unparalleled 
degree, although for this very reason innocent and seldom 
dangerous, that Evil unfolds within them which is the first- 
born of Original Fear. Nowhere else does one find so much 
indiscretion, so much venomous slander among women- 
friends. No woman on earth makes such masterly use of all 
the possibilities of passivity and deceit. None has so spider- 
like a way of catching man in her net ; none abuses the indis- 
solubility of marriage so slily and unscrupulously with the 
view of harassing him. Nowhere else does loyalty so often 
mean nothing but sloth; once an Argentine woman went 
so far as to tell me : 'With us faithfulness is a disease.' And 
all the Argentine men present applauded the saying of a 
Frenchman, that a surprising number of the women of the 
country made him think either of tortoises or vipers. No- 
where else do the emotions of the women so easily turn into 
their opposite on the slightest provocation. Nowhere is the 
subsoil of the strongest passion so cold. Withal I do not in 
the least dispute the high qualities and most of all, the pos- 
sibilities of South American woman : what I have said merely 
goes to prove her primordial womanhood, which makes her 
particularly seductive. Furthermore, it is proof positive 
of the fact that, since what seems 'evil' in her belongs to 
primordial nature, it is never the last word. Our fairy-tales 
know the truth about it: the animal which goes upon its 
belly and eats the dust often is an enchanted princess. 

ORIGINAL Fear was the root of what we call Evil. 
Accordingly, the entire underworld bears its stamp. 
Original Fear is the mother of the urge to terrify, not vice 
versa; and since fear was there before courage, the lie is 
first-born, as compared to Truth, and seduction as compared 
to persuasion and convincing. Courage and Truth are the 
two unnatural virtues far excellence. The idea of 'natural' 



ORIGINAL FEAR 49 

courage is a mis-concept; courage is one with the victory 
over natural fear. From the point of view of Nature courage 
means absolute folly, for only hiding or flight really remove 
from danger. Thus no manly man expects a woman to be 
brave, and every manly man considers it an abomination 
to kill or violate women not because they are higher 
beings, but simply because Original Fear demands safety 
in the same sense that courage demands risk. Whoever 
accepts Woman, therewith also accepts her will to security. 

Therewith we arrive at the primary protection and shield- 
ing against Original Fear. With man, Original Fear does 
not engender as a first impulse courage as a means of over- 
coming it, it begets the dread of suffering. And therefore 
the first active impulse is the instinct of security. Its original 
form is possession of property. Complete security is not 
guaranteed by armour, but solely by the impossibility of 
being attacked, and this can only be attained by means of 
the right of property; that is, the right of the exclusive 
possession (Latin : pos-sidere to sit upon) of the necessary 
life-space. This then explains why, ever since there have 
been humans on earth, property has not been instinctively 
recognized as inviolable only in days of revolution, or in 
the case of criminals, or finally by completely spiritualized 
men. The original idea of rapine alone is proof positive of 
the fact that property incarnates a right which the robber 
violates. The right of property is therefore more deeply 
rooted in instinct than anything else that incarnates a legal 
claim. Indeed, most probably the earthly root of all sense 
of law lies in the sense of property. For at bottom the sense 
of law has nothing whatever to do with justice which adjusts 
and equalizes, a thing which is impossible to what is blind ; 
it simply asserts a personal claim to security. 

This then explains what seems entirely incomprehensible 
when viewed from the Spirit: that originally property and 
not force enjoys prestige. If moral authority ranks before 



50 SECOND MEDITATION 

force in the dimension of spiritual ties, the prestige of pro- 
perty is equally superior to it in the dimension of the earth- 
bound. Precisely in the earliest states of humanity, debt- 
slavery was considered a matter of course, which in a given 
case need not even be enforced by violence. In the eyes 
of profoundest primordial instinct, the man who gives or 
lends wins the rights and claims of a buyer; here a functional 
relationship asserts itself which one may well compare with 
that of the man who becomes a slave to primordial woman ; 
all inward liberty is lost, and this means thraldom absolute. 
In the relationship of social dependence it is not loyalty 
which forms the original tie true loyalty exists solely from 
out of Spirit which must itself create the tie in order to be 
bound but the material relationship of the bread-giver 
and the bread-winner. So strongly is this view of things 
rooted in that part of man which lies nearer the deeps of 
the earth, than even blood, that the prestige of all power is 
originally felt to be this: that a man 'possesses' so much 
more than the other that the sword obeys him. The king 
was originally the rich man ; as indeed even in our days the 
Spanish hidalgo was wont to say: 'The king is no more than 
I; he is merely richer.' Essentially peaceful empires there 
have been since days immemorial ; no greater mistake than 
to think that the war of all against all is the primordial state 
of things ; on the contrary, the normal state is a peaceful co- 
existence of the diverse, such as that of the animals, includ- 
ing the beasts of prey. But never has there existed a com- 
monwealth in which property was not determinant in the last 
resort; if the Inca alone was in possession of everything, or 
if the Soviet state is so to-day, this does not alter the prob- 
lem. Thus the prestige and claims of wealth in the New 
World are by no means a proof that Life has become severed 
from its roots, nor that the latter have dried up; on the 
contrary, it is an evidence of nearness to the roots ; the atti- 
tude of American public opinion toward the world war 



ORIGINAL FEAR 51 

debts differs in no wise from that of Cain toward his weaker 
brother. Similarly, property means instinctively recog- 
nized right to power even in South America, a continent 
otherwise so completely uneconomic that it mistakes debts 
for capital and is as blindly wasteful as the United States 
are keen-eyed and thrifty. The national epos of the Argen- 
tine Martin Fierro is a thing unique in the literature of the 
world, inasmuch as a poor devil is its hero and does not 
triumph in the end : its pathos lies in the implicit recogni- 
tion that the superior power of the rich is immutable fate; 
the whole atmosphere of this poem is one of understanding 
resignation. The fact is that for the primordial deeps in 
man property means original security; even the lowliest 
creature claims the right to own its exclusive life-space. 

This recognition compels us to see many connexions in 
a different light than has been usual so far. On the one hand 
it is profoundly true to Significance that spirituality should 
originally show itself hostile to property, and spiritualiza- 
tion should be concomitant with (at least postulated) sub- 
limation of the right of property; for property is entirely of 
this earth, and to be freed of earth's bonds is the one aim 
and end of all striving for spiritual perfection. But on the 
other hand, those are fundamentally mistaken who make 
a dead set at the so-called materialism of the present-day 
masses. The overwhelming majority actually lacks the ele- 
mentary security against Original Fear; and, without this, 
exuberant life and nobility of soul are possible only to him 
who is so profoundly and firmly rooted in Spirit that 
earthly motives hardly determine him any longer. Logic- 
ally, poverty ought to be a privilege and not the recognized 
norm the privilege of the most superior. This was the 
idea underlying Brahmanism and Christianity, when they 
enjoined poverty to the Brahmans and the monks, the then 
highest orders of society. Those who are not of supreme 
superiority of outlook and soul cannot reach an inner 



52 SECOND MEDITATION 

equilibrium of the highest kind without sufficient security. 
This is proven beyond all doubt by all the facts of history : 
the unlovely state of soul of the overwhelming majority, 
wherever it does not consist of landed peasants or where a 
primitive collectivism does not yet exclude the position of 
individual problems ; the generally nobler outlook of those 
secure from mean cares; the lack of ill-will, resentment, 
jealousy, envy, hatred and other ugly qualities in the North 
American, the only mass-being of history who could hitherto 
feel fairly secure ; it is proven, moreover, by the instinctive 
striving of those in power to keep the masses in a necessitous 
state ; they always knew very well that external dependence 
entails inward dependence. There have indeed existed 
social formations on a high level most of the aristocracies 
belong to them where independence did not require pri- 
vate property for its foundation. But then the security on 
other planes was so absolute, that the members of these com- 
munities simply did not need to be rich. All kings on prin- 
ciple live on their civil list. Thus, the so-called materialism 
of the modern masses is a thing far profounder than all con- 
ventional idealism of the well-to-do, as its religious fervour 
alone should make clear. Their fight for property or position 
which is identical with, or surpasses the former as far as 
security is concerned, is originally neither a fight for 
the satisfaction of hunger at the expense of others, nor 
for ambition. It is a fight for the acquisition of the abso- 
lutely necessary protection against Original Fear, a pro- 
tection which the masses have not got and all the idealists 
of the upper classes had, and of which with the exception 
of the rare genuine saints or the artists possessed by their 
creative impulse they stood in such need, that all their 
idealism would have turned into materialism, had they been 
forced to struggle for their daily bread. 
TN the beginning was not Man, but Woman ; the latter 
JLperpetuates as a differentiated form the primordial 



ORIGINAL FEAR 53 

qualities of animal life. This explains why woman, not man, 
originally desires property: woman, not man, in the first 
place craves security. Hence the feminine quality of the 
socialist ideology with its ideal, the State of pure welfare 
and well-being. Hence the fact that in all history the matri- 
archal, and not the patriarchal peoples were the possessive 
races. The patriarchal peoples originally desired usufruct 
or income, not personal property; this is the meaning 
of the feudal order of the Teutonic races and of the 
so-called Communism of the Russians. Here we gain the 
first access to the understanding of the earthly foundations 
of what is primarily masculine. On the same plane, on which 
Woman in a differentiated way represents Original Fear, 
Man in an equally differentiated way incarnates Original 
Hunger. Hunger in itself knows of no limits save those of 
self-destruction. Therefore, hunger from the outset risks , 
and therewith stands in opposition to all desire for security. 
Therewith hunger indeed proves itself to be the original 
means of incarnation of spiritual freedom, which is conscious 
will to risk, and of the desire of spiritual conquest. But in 
the netherworld there is no freedom. Accordingly, pure 
Hunger stands out here against pure need of security. 

Thus the war of the sexes of later days is already pre- 
formed, where sexes have not yet come into existence. Al- 
ready in the netherworld rages perpetual warfare between 
Hunger and Fear. There is no lasting and harmonious 
state of balance between the two. Wherever consciousness, 
however vague, and wherever spiritual initiative, however 
slight, mirrors and directs the working of these primordial 
forces, they gain a hundredfold in intensity. Security de- 
mands hoarding; exaggerated, it turns into avarice, the 
limit of which is self-suffocation. Similarly, life must again 
and again experience the feeling of hunger, in order to 
continue growing, and therewith it posits never-ceasing, 
everlasting desire for more. But if this is intensified, it 



54 SECOND MEDITATION 

becomes greed which aims at devouring all things existent; 
its limits is self-devouring. Accordingly, the history of 
primordial man as it is uniformly described by all myths, 
was in its nethermost motives a fight between greed and 
avarice. And all myths record that the original proprietor 
was not man: he was the original conqueror. The original 
right of property belonged to the dragon, the dwarf. True 
to logic, the latter was always slain, because then only did 
man become the Lord of Creation. But on the other hand, 
all myths have known of the curse of covetousness. The 
stolen gold takes revenge on its new owner, just as subdued 
woman revenges herself on man by binding him in chains. 
This primordial and fatal connexion is made clearer than 
any myth could make it by an event in recent history: the 
course of the Conquest of South America. And the exact 
and necessary counterpoint to this is incarnated in the devel- 
opment of the United States. The Spaniards of the heroic 
age were men in a unique and unparalleled exaggeration. 
They were not patriarchals, for then they would also have 
had to stand for order and security, but men in so exaggerated 
an incarnation as can only grow up, where Woman holds the 
reins as a sovereign ruler in her own domain: they were 
gamblers, adventurers, conquerors; licentious, foolhardy, 
phantastic, spendthrift, irresponsible and insatiable. They 
lacked all wish for security. Instead, they were filled with 
unrivalled covetousness. The noble Cid even was as shame- 
less in his greed as a little child. In order to induce his little 
band of men, which later achieved prodigies of heroism and 
endurance, to undertake the march to Peru, Pizarro ex- 
claimed: 'Before you lies Peru and wealth, behind you 
Panama and poverty: a true Castilian knows his own 
interest/ This greed was entirely uneconomic ; it was simply 
original will to rob and despoil. But in so far as it was the 
will to rob what was recognized as a value, a spiritual motive 
ensouled Original Hunger. And, therefore, Spanish con- 



ORIGINAL FEAR 55 

quering has a twofold root: nethermost lies blind and insati- 
able Original Hunger; uppermost, creative imagination 
which recognizes and creates values and deems it contrary 
to sense that its imagined object and goal should fail to 
be attained simultaneously with its conception. Therefore 
it chooses the shortest way, the way nearest to magic that 
is, violence running athwart the existing laws in order to 
reach its goal, and loathes above all that reckoning with 
external law which is called work. 

Wherever Original Hunger alone holds the sway over a 
man, one speaks of the mean thief. But if imagination rules 
supreme, the sublime figure of the 'noble robber' emerges, 
which accordingly is the original ideal of all unsophisticated 
youth. Now the conquistadores were neither mean thieves, 
nor noble robbers: they were a synthesis of supremely 
creative poetic imagination which masters all facts by virtue 
of Spirit, and of most earth-near rapacity. This tension 
worked itself out in their fate. The conquistadores achieved 
almost supernatural prodigies of heroism. But all of them 
ended in dire misery not merely in poverty like most true 
soldiers, whose motto is: 'Lightly come, lightly go.' And 
by the very means of the imported gold Spain sank into 
poverty with an equally supernatural rapidity. Nevertheless, 
this evil end was not the ultimate solution: the curse of 
Alberic a third miracle left no stain upon Spanish- 
humanity. In spite of all the horrors perpetuated by the con- 
querors and settlers, no dragon's crop of hate has grown up 
on South American soil. And Spain to-day incarnates the 
noblest humanity living in Europe. And now for the even 
more wonderful counterpoint: the first settlers of North 
America were not robbers, but pious men, who wished to 
found a Kingdom of God on earth. But since then North 
American humanity is irresistibly becoming de-humanized 
into a Fafner who grunts: 'I lie and possess.' 

How is this? 



56 SECOND MEDITATION 

Here, the roots of Original Fear and Original Hunger 
stretch right down into the mineral realm. But here, too, 
the significance of the light of Spirit shines out for the first 
time against the darkness of the earth, like lightening of 
silver against the rocks. 

The conquistadores were at bottom one-sided incarnations 
of insatiable Original Hunger, and to this no instinct of 
property as a will to security set a limit. Consequently, 
they could not help finally devouring themselves. But what 
they craved ultimately was not any kind of booty, but Gold. 
Now gold is the symbol of value ; and all value is of a spiri- 
tual quality. Doubtless the archaeologists are right who 
relate back this transference to the primordial idea that gold 
is liquid sun and the Sun is the original image of divine 
and therefore spiritual creativeness. Hence the search for 
gold in the West, the region of the setting sun. This idea 
in its pure form was the soul of the cult of gold of the Incas, 
to whom gold meant economically nothing. But with the 
Spaniards, too, an equally ancient race, the same primeval 
idea played a decisive part; as indeed the Incas could find 
no' other explantion for their ecstatic behaviour before the 
material gold than in the assumption that it was their god. 
But to the primary idea that gold is liquid sun, a second mo- 
tive is straightway added, wherever it gains practical im- 
portance ; a motive which consolidates the idea of Gold as a 
value. It is an absolute miracle, entirely inexplicable from 
the primordial instincts, that with gold other values, in par- 
ticular live men, should be purchasable; the Incas gazed in 
incredulous wonder, when first they saw this possibility 
realized by the Spaniards. Thus, besides being the image 
of life-giving Sun, the prototype of the Supraterrestrial 
and therewith the Spiritual, gold symbolizes true magic 
and it means a rebirth of this primeval belief, if the posses- 
sion of millions in the United States transforms an ordinary 
person into a great man. 



ORIGINAL FEAR 57 

But nevertheless, gold is a mineral. Now, wherever a 
mineral is considered the supreme value, all consciousness 
of values involuntarily and inevitably adapts itself to the 
norms of what is dead. Thus a re-transference takes place, 
with the end-result that the worship of gold leads to a 
determination of all value by gold. This, then, is the origin 
of that tragic circle called the Curse of Gold. 

For now the spirit of the inanimate or pre-vital decides. 
Original Hunger is insatiable; but inserted into the indi- 
vidual law of each particular life, it finds its normal limit. 
Eating has a limit in disgust, swilling in imbecility, craving 
for power in the surcease of all resistance, sexual insatiability 
in impotence. But how is hunger for gold ever to cease? 
Here, no limit can be even imagined, since no assimilation 
is possible; all that has been gained as gold one way 
or another, melts away, whenever it is put to use. Thus, 
greed must needs become infinite like the universe. And 
since here quantity alone matters, and quantity of the inani- 
mate at that, the soul irresistibly takes over the law of dead 
quantity. It becomes not only dehumanized, but de- 
animalized; re-mineralization takes place. Hence the cold 
cruelty of the Spaniards, who are in reality so warm, in 
the flush of their gold-frenzy; hence the cold calculation 
of modern financiers. Coldness is the specific warmth of 
metal. 

If the specific spirit of Original Hunger remains deter- 
minant, the result in the long run is self-destruction, and 
therewith the sovereign rule of the inanimate comes to a 
natural end. This natural process was Spain's good fortune. 
Its Karma of greed has cancelled itself. Things are different, 
when the Spirit of Original Hunger turns into that of Orig- 
inal Fear and becomes metallized as such. Then, possession 
turns into a being-possessed. And for this state there is no 
natural end. Then, there emerges a world of entirely im- 
permeable security. And if security in its turn congeals 



58 SECOND MEDITATION 

into avarice, then the whole soul indurates into a mineral. 
This fate is the way of the present-day United States; for 
with them the spirit of Woman craving security is becoming 
more and more determinant, whereas that of adventurous 
Man is ever receding. 

This way will remain North America's fate, until human 
value will again be thought more important than the value 
of gold. If gold, which means liquid sun and thus sym- 
bolizes Spirit, is worshipped as a material fact, it draws the 
man who has become possessed by it back into the nether- 
most underworld. This is the prototype of all seduction. 
The will to security grows hard and rigid in its most prim- 
ordial form, in the form of insensibility absolute. Original 
Hunger is satiated by complete self-devouring. And in the 
impotency of live man before Gold, Life's Original Weak- 
ness experiences a ghastly rebirth. 



THIRD MEDITATION 



WAR 



SHIVERING with cold, my neck enveloped in a 
vicufia-poncho, I am sitting in the semi-darkness of a 
petroleum-lamp in my room in 'La Portefta', that estancia 
belonging to the province of Buenos Aires, in which Ricardo 
Guiraldes, the last great singer of the dying Gaucho-period, 
wrote his Don Segundo Sombra. Don Segundo is still 
living in the body, far advanced in age. In the afternoon 
I had gone to see him in his more than modest home; and 
over our mate I had delighted in his subtly pointed sarcasms 
clothed in archaic Spanish. Then he came over to the 
estancia for the feast given in my honour by Don Manuel 
Guiraldes. There was guitar-playing, singing and dancing. 
With incomparable grace the old man executed some of 
those pas in which the man of the Argentine campo concen- 
trates the whole rhythm of his body as the Hindu baiadere 
lets hers die away in a motion of her fingers. And then fol- 
lowed a Homeric orgy. Cow after cow had been caught. 
With the same deftness and deliberation, the same enjoy- 
ment of complication and fuss with which the old ladies of 
my youth were wont to weave delicate laces out of threads 
fastened to pegs, the animals had been caught by means 
of lassos cunningly thrown out by the gauchos from various 
sides, encircling now a horn, now a foot, until the catch 
stood there motionless. Then a swift stab into the throat 
. . . The flesh in its skin was then roasted in the open in 
enormous quantities on roughly piled-up wood-fires. Huge 
pieces of asado al cuero filled the plates. But many pre- 
ferred the bowels. Everything found favour. It was all 
exactly as it was in the circle of Penelope's suitors. 

Ever since I am haunted by a vision of blood gushing 
forth. I feel as though over the Pampa, that plainest of all 
plains, that vastest of all vastnesses, which is so plain and 

61 



62 THIRD MEDITATION 

vast because there is not the slightest curve to give it shape; 
I feel as though all over that Pampa with its hues eternally 
dimmed like colours at eventide, with the profound melan- 
choly of its atmosphere, which is somehow intensified by the 
fact that the swarms of birds called ravens here are in reality 
black ibisses, there were gushing forth in untold numbers 
hot springs of red blood. Those same Gauchos, otherwise 
so delicate and refined, ever subdued in manner, ever kind, 
are essentially slaughterers, ever ready to draw the silver- 
hafted knife in order to let the red blood pour forth from any 
throat within reach. They even cut the throats of the os- 
triches we chased on horseback with the aid of slings, as 
soon as the huge birds fell caught in the meshes of the lead- 
ball-weighted ropes. The type of the Gaucho actually 
stands and falls with the profession of throat-cutting, which 
the Argentines call degollar. And I feel that his beauty, his 
sweetness has something to do with this fact. This gives me 
food for thought. Are not the Spaniards more humane than 
other humans because of their bull-fights? Is it not the 
killing in war-time which makes the genuine warrior so 
gentle in days of peace? Is not the root of that cheerful 
serenity typical of the surgeon and of the joyousness of the 
assistant nurses the same as the root of the Gaucho's gentle- 
ness. Is there not some necessary connexion between the 
inhumanity of the man of the machine-civilization and his 
conscious loathing of blood and killing? 

However this may be: deliberate killing most likely be- 
gan in the spirit of the Gaucho. Nothing evil appears 
originally associated with it. In the netherworld, there is 
no well-defined border-line between killing and natural 
death, nay, not even between killing and dying. This bor- 
der-line becomes clear and distinct only after the Night of 
Creation has turned into Day of Creation. But at first the 
rising sun blinds the eyes for the perception of the Dark. 
Thus, primary consciousness knew as little of the deeps under- 



WAR 63 

lying the lust to kill, as does the consciousness of children. 
The first motive of killing which flashes forth into dawning 
daytime consciousness is the incentive of the pure ecstasy of 
bloodshedding. I remember the hawks I trained in my boy- 
hood: in paradisiac harmlessness they lived at large with 
other birds, by which they also were recognized as harmless, 
until almost by accident they first pounced upon a bird. 
After this there was no checking them; the ecstasy of 
blood-shedding had awakened. But not at once did they 
associate killing with the reception of food. Thus, with 
man, conscious killing began with what we call war; with 
killing for the sake of killing. First hunting was war-fare. 
Any utilitarian considerations were foreign to primary killing. 
Primeval man felt in the same way as the genuine huntsman 
even to-day feels all the world over. And the eating of the 
prey occupied the same place in earliest consciousness, as 
did in later days the eating of the victim sacrificed to the 
god. 

It is this elementary and primary nature of the ecstasy 
of blood-shedding which explains why in all history it 
appears associated with the earliest religious ideas: judged 
from awakening religious consciousness, all killing was orig- 
inally immolation. And even to-day every true soldier, how- 
ever unconsciously, looks upon killing in war as human sacri- 
fice. Otherwise he would not, from genuine inner experi- 
ence, make so clean a distinction between killing in war and 
murder; instinctively he visualizes the sacrifice of his own 
person and the killing of the others as one and the same 
thing. Proceeding from the idea of sacrifice we also under- 
stand what primary courage means. Even the most courage- 
ous of animals are not really brave; they merely yield to the 
urge of inward instead of outward superior power; and 
relatively to their Conscious, the inward urge is just as ex- 
ternal as the outward force. But simultaneously with the 
ecstasy of blood-shedding awakes the urge to sacrifice. The 



64 THIRD MEDITATION 

mere welling forth of blood intensifies the sense of Life; 
there is little discrimination at this stage as to whether it be 
a man's own blood or that of another. And thus also the 
desire of fight is a secondary, not a primary impulse. Viewed 
from the nethermost deeps, it is even a late phenomenon. 
First was the will to blood-sacrifice; then only the will 
to fight. Fighting as an end in itself becomes possible only 
when in the consciousness sport and play have won the prim- 
acy over reality. But the dark, dull and blind primordial 
states, in which even to-day are rooted all the profoundest 
motives, know nought of sport and play. They have all the 
sombreness of dead earnest. Precisely in this sense are despots 
called sombre. For this very reason Soviet Russia is in such 
ghastly earnest. It is contrary to sense when poetic imagina- 
tion builds up cosmogonies out of the state of childhood : 
childhood belongs to Paradise, not Hell; but in the begin- 
ning was the netherworld. Therefore, murder was there 
before open fight, and murder was not thought evil. 
Therefore the killing of the defenceless preceded that of the 
armed. Fighting originally was the result of the vis major 
of a situation in which the attacked turned to defend them- 
selves or Man himself was assaulted. For this reason, too, 
it is true to significance that hunting which is as much the 
joy of all men with anything of the beast of prey in them to- 
day as it was in the glacial period should in its essence 
mean murder. And modern warfare, in which the attacked 
are practically defenceless against the weapons of the 
assailant, really leads back to first beginnings. This 
explains the fact that no genuine soldier sees anything 
monstrous in modern warfare, however much it may 
destroy all ideas of chivalry which could still hold good a 
few decades ago. 

THE above explains why, in the records of the past, 
no killing appears associated with ugly and evil thoughts. 
Man's first killing was not connected with the idea of pro- 



WAR 65 

fitableness ; nor was his primary aim the providing of meat 
for food. And man's first killing had the same roots as that 
of the beasts of prey only to the extent that beasts of prey 
too know of the ecstasy of blood-shedding. Everywhere, 
the earliest emphasis lies on the intensification of Life con- 
ditioned by the outpouring of blood, and since killing is con- 
comitant with self-sacrifice, nobility must needs be the first 
characteristic of the warrior. After having meditated the 
type of the Gaucho, I know how all these things came into 
existence. By accident Cain slew Abel, just as it was by 
accident that my hawks first pounced upon a live bird. But 
out of this awoke the ecstasy of blood-shedding; Cain's des- 
cendants were all warriors. However, just as Cain first felt 
that he was lying under a curse, even so the Gaucho is not 
called a murderer, but desgraciado^ an unfortunate man who 
happened to kill a human being. Nothing can be more con- 
trary to sense, nor more mistaken, than to imagine the first 
humans acording to the image of our criminals. Even to- 
day among primitive races criminals hardly exist; their 
killing is a sacrificial act. 

But on the other hand it is true that the most horrible 
of the demons who abide in the netherworld of the Night of 
Creation very soon take advantage of the situation created 
by the purposeless and in so far innocent ecstasy of blood- 
shedding. Original Fear begets the will to destruction for 
the sake of security. It breeds the greed of possessing what 
does not belong to it. In its first transference it generates 
cruelty : the tortured is to suffer the full measure, to exceed 
and therewith to annul the fear and anguish which the tor- 
mentor feels in his own heart of hearts. Original Hunger 
demands endless killing and conquering and grasping and 
destroying as a means for its own soverign reign : wherever 
Original Hunger predominates, all the beauty of the ecstasy 
of blood-shedding deteriorates. At bottom everyone desires 
to devour and absorb all that is foreign to him, be it alive or 



66 THIRD MEDITATION 

dead ; in his heart of hearts he claims the universe as his 
exclusive heritage. But the universe does not submit to 
him, and thus out of every resistance is born as a primary 
reaction the desire for retaliation which turns into vindic- 
tiveness wherever memory is tenacious; just as the desire 
for ever-more-and-more which is normal to all original Life 
is in the same case intensified to rapacity. Man's nether- 
world exultingly welcomes the death of every other man, 
with whom he does not indentify himself. Here, determin- 
nant group-consciousness, be it a primary phenomenon as 
in the case of primitive races, or a secondary manifestation 
as in modern warfare, offers no particular problem. The 
netherworld experiences every passing-away of another life 
as a vital addition to its own. To explain and justify all 
the sorrow of the world in terms of the bliss of the 'rejoicing 
heir* who ever and ever stands for the future, would be a 
more sensible endeavour than all the current justifications of 
Evil. So deeply rooted is this claim of exclusive sovereignty, 
that the mere growth of another calls out thirst for vengeance 
because such growth is felt to be a challenge. When the 
French cried: 'Revenge for SadowaP where Austria's 
defeat was no concern of theirs, they were neither extrava- 
gant nor eccentric, but simply primordial. Hence the true 
pathos of revenge in all early history. It was not a question 
here of resentment, that is of bearing a man a grudge be- 
cause of one's own impotency ; nor was it a case of vindic- 
tiveness, which only arises in such as feel too weak to react 
openly and promptly, and too little self-assured to be able 
to bear a shifting of outward conditions to their own disad- 
vantage there it was a question of the very same feeling 
for which Jahveh called Himself a 'jealous God'. What he 
meant was this: Whoever dares to recognize anyone beside 
Me, merits death. 

Here, in the claim of Original Hunger lies the second of 
the primordial roots of Law the first lies in security se- 



WAR 67 

cured by means of property which Original Fear demands. 
Law has originally nothing whatever to do with Justice; 
for Law rests not upon adjustment and compromise, it rests 
on self-assertion absolute. Hence the law of arms is at 
bottom a more honest law than any law which pretends to 
conciliate the claims of all. Modern endeavours to justify 
the fact of war by intellectual and moral considerations mirror 
the conflict between that absolute sense of right which any- 
one, who fights for his life, feels as a matter of course, and 
mind-born theory. And from this follows as another matter 
of course the hardness and cruelty concomitant with the 
creation of every new law. The methods used by the Bol- 
sheviks were already acted upon by Zeus with regard to his 
father Kronos, when he started remodelling the world accord- 
ing to new Maw and order* (Aeschylos). But in order to 
understand the underlying deep, causes and motives, it is 
necessary above all to recognize the fact that no idea of law 
sprung from a spirit-born sense of right can possibly be 
applied to this domain. And it is the less applicable, the 
more 'advanced' a state. It is in accordance with the nature 
of things that the World War should have been incompar- 
ably more bestial than any warfare among cannibals. The 
more intellect matters, and this means the more the ideas 
of aim and purpose predominate, the less important must 
be the part played by the ecstasy of blood-shedding which is 
free from all ends and aims; and the more force must pass 
to the demons of the netherworld. In particular, the after- 
math of the World War is a purer expression of Original 
Hunger and Original Fear than was the war of the Titans 
in days of old. The profoundest meaning of the World 
Crisis of which that terrible unison of the entire orchestra 
of humanity, the World War, was less the cause than the 
introduction is this : it is a fight between Original Fear and 
Original Hunger in a purity unparalleled since the mythical 
ages. All the masses throughout the world have become 



68 THIRD MEDITATION 

aware of what technical science can achieve ; they have real- 
ized that they might lead a life of greater comfort than is 
actually theirs. Consequently they are no longer satisfied 
to accept this earth as a valley of tears. Thus Original Hun- 
ger urges them on with elementary violence. But simultane- 
ously Original Fear is intensified as an expression of con- 
sciously felt lack of security. But Original Fear first and 
foremost determines the attitude of the propertied classes : 
they desire to preserve at all costs the security which is 
theirs. And since they are dimly aware of the hopelessness 
of this attempt, within them Original Hunger awakes in 
the form of the most unscrupulous greed of profit; and this 
is the chief cause of that phantastic dishonesty of post-war 
days which fills the gaols of all countries foremost with 
those who used to be considered as particularly respectable. 
The stirred-up deeps manifest themselves on the surface in 
the form of the polar opposites of capitalistic and socialistic 
interests, as the will to securite a tout prix which dominates 
France in the first place, and the will to absolute violation of 
law incarnated by Soviet Russia in the form of a primordial 
symbol. But Hunger and Fear originally connected with 
the economic side of Life in their turn call out the will to 
war. For if all security ceases to exist, youth feels impelled 
to enlist, for the soldier alone is free to rob when he is 
hungry. Now war for the same reasons becomes more and 
more horrible, the longer it lasts and the more terrible the 
suffering of the combatants. In a desperate struggle man 
as a dweller of the upper world almost completely abdicates 
and his hellish nethermost deeps alone remain vital. Again 
an event of modern times provides a clearer illustration 
of this truth than any myth. More ghastly by far than the 
World War was the civil war waged between the Whites and 
the Reds of Russia, in the course of which the representatives 
of the old system surging back, measuring untold distances 
under untold privations and incessant fights grew ever more 



WAR 69 

cruel in their increasing reprisals on the Reds. Finally, the 
whole of the European and Asiatic Russias were one single 
hell more hell-like than any a medieval painter ever imag- 
ined.* And the hell-born primordial instincts once awak- 
ened have since continued working. As a matter of natural 
evolution criminal characters have become increasingly 
determinant; a truly fiendish sadism is at work against 
everything they refuse to tolerate any longer. This is so, 
because Bolshevist Russia has progressed even farther on the 
intellectual plane than the West and is still less checked by 
motives of a different origin. Thus, purposeful thinking 
vitalizes and quickens the whole of the netherworld and 
vomits it far and wide over the shuddering earth. 

Things of similar horror, on however reduced a scale, 
have happened everywhere on earth, whenever the nether- 
world was stirred up and broke loose. And this has occurred 
again and again, wherever killing came to be looked upon as 
justified, because the originally noble esctasy of blood- 
shedding by slow degrees encroaches upon and irresistibly 
infects ever deeper strata of the Unconscious. Fairness and 
equity understood as a conscious admittance of another's 
right to live originally existed solely as a compromise between 
humans belonging together, where the question of possible 
destruction could not arise. As soon as it arose as for 
instance in the case of struggles for the throne a brother 
murdered his brother, and a son his father, as a matter of 
course. How natural destruction of any check to life is to 

* Cf. Edwin Erich Dwinger's splendid description Zwischen Weiss und 
Rot (Between White and Red), the Russian tragedy 1919-20, Jena 193X9 
Eugen Diederichs. The author is right when at the end he says: (p. 499). 
'Will it some day be recognized that this tragedy will remain for centuries 
the disgrace of mankind? That this gigantic raid has set a foul blot on the 
history of the world surpassing all its blemishes up till now? That misery 
was brought upon a people of 1 50 million souls merely for the sake of money, 
and no voice of its dying ever found an echo in any heart? That the words 
oil, platinum, gold, ore should have so drowned the vast choir of a million 
dying men, that not a soul on earth heard it?' 



70 THIRD MEDITATION 

primeval consciousness became quite clear to me, when I 
heard the surprised question of a Brazilian woman during a 
discussion of the problem of assassination, which is acute 
in her country: 'Why, would you not welcome the thought 
that a person, whose existence is irksome to you, simply 
ceased to exist?' I had perforce to admit that this would 
indeed be the solution most welcome to my own instincts 
too. Those Byzantine emperors who at once rid themselves 
of every inconvenient person, surely suffered from far less 
a number of complexes than modern Europeans. Indeed, 
even in Caligula, who wished the Romans had but one single 
head for him to cut off, a universally human desire appeared 
merely in an extravagant form. That nethermost Being with- 
in us, the womb of all creation, which would swallow all 
things existent, must needs experience the feeling of supreme 
happiness, if it can say say to itself: 'There is none but me 
left in the world!' 

I know of few things more superficial and contrary to 
sense than the considerations upon which uprooted and all- 
too-civilized people found their hopes of a nobler humanity. 
If the nethermost deeps are denied, their energies are banked 
up and one day break forth with all the more destructive 
force, as World War and World Revolution have already 
proven in an appalling manner. And the more things are 
referred to Spirit which are not of the Spirit, the uglier the 
resulting picture, the more abominable the lie, the more per- 
nicious the consequences. Only where the combatants honestly 
own to their will to kill, to their hate, their vindictiveness and 
the ecstasy they feel in blood-shedding, can noble motives be- 
come ultimately determinant. All noble-minded commanders 
knew that they did an evil thing when practising the law of 
arms; their greatness ever lay in the courage with which 
they took upon themselves their Dharma of guilt, as Krishna 
commanded the wavering Arjuna to do. Those who were 
profoundly conscious of this evil and yet did not hesitate 



WAR 71 

to do it not those who tried to mitigate its horror in a way 
contrary to sense have been adored as leaders by their 
soldiers and later even been worshipped as saints by man- 
kind. Similarly, those wars have sown the least dragon's 
crop that were recognized for what they really were, and 
have therefore been spontaneously passed over in silence or 
disavowed, when peace has been restored. To do this is all 
the easier as all 'law of arms', from the point of view of 
peace, is criminal, for it rests entirely on violation. But since, 
on the other hand, the impulse to violate is normal - that 
is normal to the netherworld, and not to the upper world 
and dies when it is satisfied, merely to refrain from insisting 
can lead to organic forgetting. Thanks to the sense of the 
nature of this connection, wars of primitive warrior-tribes 
hardly ever leave behind them bitter feelings. Owing to 
England's understanding of what matters in the same con- 
nection, there is so little resentment against that nation, 
however uncompromisingly and consistently it may prac- 
tise the law of arms. It is France's fatal misfortune that it 
has the least understanding of the nature of this problem. 
In the case of every French victory the antique belief in a 
judgment of the gods incarnated by victory experiences a 
rebirth in France, so that it refers to spiritual values what 
can have meaning and a raison d'Stre only when referred to 
the netherworld. Hence the hate-provoking effect of the 
exclusively French idea that la paix par le respect des traites 
is a thing both moral and ideal. No forced treaty ever incar- 
nated the slightest moral right. Even a far more general 
proposition is true: most of the injustice in history is due 
to the fatal confusion of the ideas of justice, right and law. 
Thanks to this association of ideas alone was it possible to 
perpetuate the bitterest injustice with the consent of the 
victims through hundreds and thousands of years. All op- 
pression, all violation, all slavery has its roots here. Of all 
idols, Law understood as incarnating justice ipsofacto, is the 



72 THIRD MEDITATION 

most infamous. The world will become a better place only 
when this fetish has been dashed from its pedestal. Law in 
itself is nothing but ^fixation, without the slightest moral and 
spiritual qualification. Law becomes just only when the 
legal tie fixes something that is just in itself. But in the sense 
of a 'once and for all', a final fixation is essentially impossible, 
because Life changes from one moment to another, and 
every novel situation demands a new formation and arrange- 
ment of the equation. Therefore, not only does the ancient 
Latin sentence summum jus, summa injuria hold true, but 
every law understood as an unchangeable tie is immoral and 
evil in the deepest sense of the word. Here applies all that 
Jesus Christ put forward against righteousness according 
to the letter of the law. Here, too, good will alone means 
goodness. But good will is possible only from out of 
freedom. 

Now, wherever war created the basis of a legal state, there 
cannot possibly be any question of determinant freedom. 
From the latter's view-point, violation always means crime. 
In the case of war it was ever the netherworld, foreign and 
hostile to Spirit which, transforming the landscape like a 
volcanic eruption, set its stamp for a time upon the upper 
world. And this process can be justified before the forum of 
spiritual and moral consciousness only through the recogni- 
tion that the netherworld necessarily belongs to man and 
cannot be permanently repressed. Hence the sympathetic 
character of ingenuous warriorship. In this case, a most 
cruel mass-murderer may even otherwise be a saint, as was 
the Caucasian Shamil who naively thought it a command of 
God to destroy all and sundry of his enemies. But no sooner 
does consciousness of Spirit endeavour to justify what is not 
of the Spirit than man turns into a fiend. Far from denying 
as improbable the atrocities which all nations are alleged to 
have committed during the World War, I think, on the 
contrary, that even worse deeds than are recorded are prob- 



WAR 73 

able: the less of a clear conscience a warrior has in the prac- 
tice of his profession, the worse must be the form in which 
his netherworld breaks forth. From the point of view of 
Spirit, the fact of war can be justified solely through in- 
sight into the necessity of Evil. I submit the following con- 
siderations : in this best-possible of all worlds the Spirit of 
Evil alone is able to create those radical changes which at 
times evidently are accordant with the intentions of the 
Spirit of Good. Furthermore, there exists a kind of justice 
even in Evil's own domain, in so far as violation and oppres- 
sion steel the defeated, provided they are still vital. This 
has nothing whatever to do with 'Eternal Justice'. It rest on 
the biological law, to the best of my knowledge first formula- 
ted by Hans Much, that every minus is not compensated by 
the requisite plus, but by its multiple; for this reason diffi- 
culties are in principle conducive to growth.* 

Consequently, all possible immediate advantages of war 
are to be found in the biological and never in the spiritual 
or moral sphere, and in the biological domain solely when 
judged from the netherworld which lives out its blind urge 
in war. For this reason it is intrinsically contrary to sense to 
justify the fact of war even from the plane of the biological 
upper world. It is not a tonic or bracing bath. It does not 
lead to the survival of the fittest, but to that of the most unfit. 
And understood as a means of substituting one kind of 
humanity by one alleged to be superior, it is ineffectual, 
barring the extreme case of literal extermination which is 
hardly ever realized. Of the World War, this may be said 
in 1931 : even in the sense of destructiveness, it has been 
completely futile. Despite all the losses, there are already 
on the whole more humans than before the War, more means 
of production, more products destined for consumption: 
the present-day difficulties are solely due to the circumstance 

* Cf. his pamphlet Was ist das Lebtn? (What is Life?), p. 73, Leipzig* 
J. A. Barth. 



74 THIRD MEDITATION 

that the ideas are not yet adapted to the facts. Taken as . 
a creature of instincts and impulses, no man living to-day, 
even among the defeated, can help assuming a positive attitude 
towards the War, for to it he owes his own individual charac- 
ter and his individual possibility of existence, which he can- 
not reasonably wish away, since it is the premise of his iden- 
tity. Every survivor and every human born after the war is a 
'rejoicing heir', however meagre or evil the heritage m&y be. 
From the vantage of the individual, death, loss of fortune, 
shifting of power happen in days of peace as well as in times 
of war; and hardly a few dozen individuals among the many 
millions who took part in the war had any personal interest 
in its so-called aims. Those who have grown to maturity 
since the conclusion of peace know as little of the horrors 
and atrocities of war as did their predecessors of 1913. 
And what is the most monstrous thing of all : even the com- 
batants no longer have any recollection of it; not, in any case 
in the sense of an experience which continues to work. 
The war was so horrible that the remembrance is repressed, 
just as no one recollects a dentist's operation. The sudden 
blaze in 1929 of a prodigious publishing success of all books 
on the war which had till then been overlooked, is proof posi- 
tive of the fact that at that very moment the forgetting of 
the war and its experiences was completed. 

A poet has profoundly grasped and grandly set forth the 
significance of the connection last considered: Balzac in 
his novel Colonel Chabert. In this novel, he describes the 
intimate tragedy of the surviving hero of the Napoleonic 
Wars : that nothing, absolutely nothing in the order of life 
natural to him with its values and motives should survive 
in times of peace. There is no connection between the 
worlds of peace and of war. Therefore, he who is one- 
sidedly adapted to the one state cannot help being a failure 
in the other. It is at bottom untrue, whatever may be the 
case externally, that war is the continuation of political opera- 



WAR 75 

tions by other means : war belongs to a different plane alto- 
gether. All its roots abide in the blind netherworld. Con- 
sequently, it is in itself devoid of any possible aim and any 
possible idea; the hired soldier is the warrior's prototype. 
He who becomes fully aware of this abysmal incommensur- 
ability of the norms of the upper and the netherworlds, 
shudders more even than at the atrocities of war at the delu- 
sion of the war-ideologists. What political aim and object 
was ever even by a millionth per cent worth the sacrifices 
made for its achievement? Only non-political objects may 
justify such sacrifices; for instance objects of religious 
belief demanding human sacrifice; or objects of personal or 
tribal honour. It may have been true to Significance to 
immolate hecatombs for the beauteous Helena, whose rape 
meant a symbol of the most personal interest to all Greeks 
but not for oil. At the conclusion of a war for objective aims, 
there is indeeed nothing to do but to forget, lest one lose one's 
mind. Thus, unfortunately, it is not true that the World 
War, with which the mechanization of warfare set in, has 
led war as such ad absurdum; on the contrary: here, for the 
first time, war exactly as it is with the whole orchestra of the 
impulses and instincts which make it possible, has become a 
vital experience. This, is it true, means a tremendous step 
forward, and for the sake of this one recognition the World 
War may not have been quite in vain. For the first time 
humanity at large has become consciously aware of the fact 
that war essentially is not idealism, courage, discipline, com- 
radeship, nor joy of sacrifice, but murder, torture, fear, 
horror, rapine, rape, falsehood, imposture, destruction, 
violation ; in short, crime in every sense of the term. In 
my eyes the most horrible result of the World War is not 
the destruction it brought in its train, but the increased 
idealization of war by most of the young who took no part 
in it. This cannot be understood as proceeding from any 
kind of idealism, but solely from the fact that humanity 



76 THIRD MEDITATION 

has become antediluvially unfeeling. Soviet Russia's out- 
look created the example for this attitude. Killing, murder, 
violation are not evil or sinful at all. Only the ideology 
of the warrior as seen from the view-point of the commander, 
counts. But the true significance of that essential counter- 
sense called war is not incarnated in the commander, but 
solely in the nameless soldier of the line. Thus, the first 
war memorial of all the ages which is true to Significance 
is that which arose spontaneously out of the Unconscious 
of all the nations who took part in the World War : the 
memorial to the Unknown Soldier. 

IN times of war the evil netherworld lives a legitimate 
life. Wherever the stage of the ingenuous and to that 
extent beautiful ecstasy of blood-shedding has, one way or 
another, been passed, Original Hunger and the urge to 
retaliate are its deepest and ultimate motives. If these 
demons did not dwell, perpetually alive; in the nethermost 
deeps, no war of nations would be even theoretically con- 
ceivable. Now how is it that the consciousness of mankind 
refuses even to-day to own to this truth? The reason lies 
in the monstrous and tragic paradox which war incarnates 
as a phenomenon of the upper world. The warrior who must 
be ready every moment to do and to suffer the most ghastly 
things, is the merry and easy-going man par excellence 
he actually is, he is not merely thought to be so. And unre- 
flecting consciousness does not mirror war at all as that 
which it essentially is. As the lowest basis of war, its concept 
evokes the idea of discipline absolute. On a higher plane 
it evokes the idea of mathematically clear calculation. But 
in its ultimate analysis war is held even to-day despite the 
experience of machine war and poison gas to be a knightly 
game, a thing it never really was, a game whose soul is the 
sense of honour. .This idea is so deeply rooted in the soul 
of man, that the Unknown Soldier sacrifices himself from 
conviction for his commander, and that solely the meaning 



WAR 77 

war incarnates for the latter survives as the essence and 
meaning of war in the memory of man. 

How can this be? Let us consider the various points in 
their logical succession. 

The warrior can and must be insouciant, light-hearted, 
because as a warrior he takes over the norms of the nether- 
world which is blind and accepts killing and dying with 
utter indifference. This taking over of the norms of the 
netherworld with a clear conscience, on the other hand, 
has a liberating effect; for now all those checks are sus- 
pended which, operating from the upper world, preclude 
the netherworld from living itself out. Thus even the readi- 
ness to die effects a solution of inward tension. But the com- 
pulsion under which the soldier lives, in its turn, is accord- 
ant with the netherworld, it is no contradiction to it. The 
netherworld knows of no freedom; to force and to be 
forced corresponds to its nature. What is truly opposed to 
its essential character is forethought and responsibility 
and precisely of these the soldier is relieved. There are 
always superiors whose task it is to know whatever goes 
beyond the requirements of the moment; even for the 
latter they bear the responsibility; and judged from the 
angle of experiencing man, this ultimate lack of responsibility 
has its limit only in the person of the commander-in-chief. 
Finally, the warrior is sure that he is materially provided 
for; hence he suffers least of all men from Original Fear; 
for Original Fear refers primarily not to Death, but to 
starving. From the standpoint of the instincts, the soldier 
is the most secure of humans; for this reason he is the; 
conscious of Fear; therefore it is psychologically] 
that the soldier should be expected to show morje courage 
than the civilian. One more circumstance has. a fi.ber^tiw 
effect on the mass which in times of war possesffes ifctfrntt^' > \ 
suggestive power: that hardly any feeling 4 ^(ferianj^ - 
arises; in war the man who is most : C ~ : : -^ *&* 





78 THIRD MEDITATION 

peace is equal in Value, if not superior to the most efficient. 
As General Crozier once aptly put it: 'There are no bad 
soldiers, there are only bad leaders/ Finally, in war the 
entire netherworld can live itself out as a connected whole. 
To the life of the warrior also belong heavy drinking, 
gambling, ribaldry, whoring and the rejoicing in filth. But 
the beautiful aspect of instinctive and primordial Life too 
can live itself out without restraint. Primordial life desires 
hardships, for the muscle gains in strength through exercise; 
Original Hunger manifests itself in the form of defiance of 
death; all striving for security vanishes and therewith all 
avarice ; there blossoms forth the capacity of a love which 
gives away with god-like generosity. And since every 
existing force causes correspondent chords to sound in 
others, the most unapproachable maidens give themselves 
up with joy to almost any man they believe to be a hero in 
times of war. They too yearn to immolate themselves, and 
compared with the offering up of life no other sacrifice 
seems too great. Moreover, since Love is the brother of 
Death, Love given in the face of death means supreme bliss. 
This picture of a fostering of insouciance is completed by 
the psychic mechanism, thanks to which all stressing calls 
out the simultaneous and exaggerated stressing of the oppo- 
site. For the very same reason that the warrior's existence 
is one purely of the netherworld, the latter plays the slightest 
part within his Conscious. The ugliness belonging to the 
profession of arms leads to an exclusive stressing of the 
Beautiful : of song, music and play and the cultivation of 
the noble group-feelings. The irrationality of the modality 
of life of the netherworld, in its turn, fosters insouciance. 
Blind Original Hunger, the blind instinctive urge to 
overwhelm and retaliate, blind ecstasy of blood-shedding and 
the blind rapture the dying of others calls out, all find their 
justification on their own plane. To understand all this is 
impossible so, why think at all? Hence one may finally 



WAR 79 

say: the more rationalized a world, the more true to Sense 
must be a war which defies all spiritual and moral 
norms. 

In the case of discipline a different chain of causes is at 
work. In the first place, the importance of discipline in 
war impresses one as a monstrous paradox. The nethermost, 
lowest, the most uncontrollable and savage impulses make 
warfare at all possible. And yet warfare is expected to 
present itself in the form of absolute ascendancy over Nature ! 
The paradox is a fact ; nevertheless, precisely the foundations 
of discipline abide in the netherworld. Compulsion and 
violence are its exclusive norms; freedom alone is completely 
foreign to it. For the rest, discipline, first and last, works 
with the motive of fear, that original quality of primordial 
life. And primordial life desires to be violated, not to decide 
for itself, just as Woman in her heart of hearts desires to be 
violated. How exactly military discipline is adapted to the 
netherworld is proven by the fact that, proceeding from 
without to the inside, it actually transforms a man; and that 
at bottom he rejoices in being broken and broken in through 
discipline, just as a child is grateful for the punishment 
which helps it to overcome its bad inclinations and to be 
good. But that every soldier should think discipline an 
ideal, once it has permeated his whole being, is a result 
of the fact that discipline serves not only to bind, but also 
to liberate. By binding the netherworld, by disciplining 
from out of Spirit what is in itself incapable of discipline, 
it clears the way for independent workings of spiritual 
energies. The traditional saying is true, that one must 
learn to obey, in order to be able to command. This is 
why every path leading to the goal of spiritual perfection, 
too, begins with asceticism, that is, with exercise and dis- 
cipline. The man who is entirely disciplined on the plane of 
what is capable of discipline, is for this very reason the freest 
of all men. Now the fact that discipline should be univer- 



80 THIRD MEDITATION 

sally thought the soul of the profession of arms, is proof 
positive that its spiritual aspect means more to consciousness 
than its primeval basis. Thus, soldiership is not only a road 
to freedom understood as the living-out of what belongs 
to the netherworld, but also a road to freedom understood 
as a way to liberate Spirit. For the man not graced with 
original superiority there is but this one road to freedom of 
spirit. In fact, there is no higher spiritual goal attainable for 
the ordinary man than to reach complete self-control; pre- 
cisely in the sphere of Spirit, only a very few are called to 
rise beyond the rank of the sergeant. Hence the enthusiasm 
for military drill shown in later days by most men who have 
personally experienced its effects. Drill will survive, for 
any kind of purpose, as a tried and approved technical 
method, even if war should one day come to be out of 
date. 

That for the strategist war should be a matter of pure 
mathematical calculation is not only the result of the fact 
that mass decisions cannot possibly be brought about in 
any other way; it has deep and vital reasons. In accordance 
with the law of polarity the high officer instinctively with- 
draws from the state of pure determination by the nether- 
world and seeks refuge in pure intellectuality. He honestly 
sees in war nothing but the shifting of flags on a map, and 
in blood-sacrifices deductions to be made in his calculations. 
But the very inhumanity thereby manifesting itself is a 
proof of the power of primordial life working from below. 
There are few generals who do not repress glowing feelings 
of sensual gratification when thinking of the blood-sacrifices 
made at their command and therefore overcompensate such 
feelings by cold calculations. That theirs is a case of ultimate 
determination by the netherworld is finally proved by the 
fact that innumerable commanders send thousands of men 
to their death as a matter of course, in order to gain for 
themselves a military decoration. 



WAR 81 

Now the final paradox of war is the one thing which 
ultimately gives it the quality of nobility. Where there is 
bestial ravage and cold-hearted calculation, the motive 
ultimately deciding in the Conscious is the most soulful, 
most subjective and personal of all on earth; and at the same 
time it is the most spiritual, since it has meaning and 
significance solely with regard to the incomparable unique 
individual: this motive is Honour. Personal Honour is 
ultimately determinant in the very connexion in which the 
individual as a fact means nothing at all! Honour can 
never be explained, nor its existence proven. Honour has 
no basis in the instincts, since it has essentially nothing to do 
with vanity, self-love, the instinct of property and power. 
Nor has it any foundation in intellect, for intellect must 
needs compare, and honour precisely posits and demands 
absolute incomparability. He who seeks in any way to find 
the meaning of honour in the idea of 'respectability', the 
good opinion of others, entirely misunderstands its essence. 
The idea of honour is a thing so purely spiritual, that it is 
self-evident that merely intellectual epochs, as also periods 
purely determined by the impulses, must fail to understand 
what it means. In so far, honour is the first and foremost 
exponent of those deeps in man, the roots of which do not 
belong to the netherworld. Now since in the beginning was 
the netherworld, it should be easy to understand that after 
the in-break of Spirit its first corresponding polar opposite 
should have manifested itself in the form of Honour. First, 
there was Woman's honour. It is a primary expression of 
the consciousness of uniqueness and at the same time of the 
consciousness of value absolute that a woman should feel 
dishonoured when a man to whom she has not freely given 
herself, takes possession of her. Immediately after this, as 
the first manifestation of Man's honour, the consciousness 
of the warrior's honour awoke. Henceforth, honour ruled 
supreme, independently of any motive and any object for 



82 THIRD MEDITATION 



which war could be waged. Henceforth, it was assumed 
that whoever fights, be it even as a robber, a mercenary, 
nay as conscious organ of meanest economic exploitation, 
under all circumstances fights for his honour. 



FOURTH MEDITATION 



BLOOD 



ON Argentine soil, I reproduced more than once 
an ancient dream of mine. The Earth had 
changed back into a livid star. I stood there as 
:he last man left. And I laughed with exultation at being 
ilone at last. But the feeling of joy which accompanied the 
/ision in South America had a different meaning. In 
former days my joy had been genuine. My yearning for 
solitude was then so immense, human beings were so irk- 
some to me, that seclusion for me meant perfect happiness. 
Mow my laughter had the distinct character of jeering. And 
t was at myself that I was thus jeering. My spirit had 
jevered itself from me and I had somehow grown one with 
:he Earth. And yet I felt lonely. And this feeling of loneli- 
less was horrible. 

I was a stranger in a strange country. Nothing un- 
Dleasant used to be associated with this word for me in 
: ormer days, for never had I felt a stranger in contradis- 
:inction to what was mine. I felt essentially a guest on earth; 
is a wanderer from one strange land to another I was in 
ny own element. Now that the Continent of the Third 
lay of Creation had lifted the earthly part of my being into 
ny Conscious, this feeling underwent a change. And this 
:hange was all the more perplexing to me and conse- 
quently it struck my attention all the more as my spirit 
lad never been so happy as on Argentine soil, and as that 
cind of sympathy which alone I value came to me in 
wondrous abundance. Now I felt it to be of decisive signi- 
ficance that nothing in this world was akin to me. These 
were not the stars under which I was born. This heaven 
was to my eyes an unfamiliar maze. No part of this trans- 
equatorial soil was originally mine. And with the deeps 
within the inhabitants of this earth I could gain no sym- 

85 



86 FOURTH MEDITATION 

pathetic contact. Then I realized the profound truth of the 
image of the genealogical tree. That only belongs to one 
which has the same roots. An unbridgeable void separates 
one tree from the other. 

This belonging together, the significance of which for 
the first time became obvious to me through the experience 
of the feeling of strangeness, is represented for man by the 
symbol of Blood. No attempt should be made to penetrate 
this symbol or to resolve it into its component parts and trans- 
late it into something more distinct to intellect. Wherever 
men want to understand such realities as do not pertain to 
the sphere of reason, the same situation again and again 
experiences a rebirth out of which the first thinkers created 
their cosmogonies. There, the one thing needful for recog- 
nition, both with the creator and the man who reflects, is 
that which may be defined the least amiss by means of the 
three co-ordinates: unbiased experience, first sight and im- 
mediate realization. And the most exact expression for what 
is meant is not the most exclusive but the most compre- 
hensive concept. It is the word understood in its archaic 
meaning, which lives on in the Chinese ideogram or the 
Nordic rune, but not in the modern form of writing; it is 
the symbol, which, by evoking determinate experience and 
understanding, just as the chord of an instrument when 
struck makes harmoniously attuned chords sound again 
not by reducing what is new to something familiar 
establishes a relationship of correspondence between the 
inner and the outer worlds. Such symbols are the better 
suited to their purpose the more, not the less scope they 
offer to interpretation; the more overtones and accessory 
sounds they awaken in the soul in unison with the notes 
that are struck. The symbol 'Blood 1 stands for the same 
connexion for which the genealogical tree too is a material 
sign. Only it refers to all the dimensions of time, not merely 
to the past; it stresses a different and specific aspect of this 



BLOOD 87 

same connexion. It is that aspect which is the first to strike 
the feelings and emotions. Proceeding from these I in- 
voluntarily associate the idea of kinship and home with 
warmth in the first place. The interval between the stars 
is cold. All alien countries are cold. But the germ-plasma 
too is cold; it belongs to the world of the Third Day of 
Creation. Its sphere and kingdom is the boundless, diffluent 
Yeast of Creation in its ferment. Warmth presupposes a 
closed state. Blood is essentially warm and can flow only 
within a closed system. This is why Blood is the first and 
foremost symbol of original intimate connexion between 
humans. The primary image of their communion is the 
closed body of the warm-blood which, as long as it lives, 
preserves its individual warmth in all environments. The 
primary form of this connexion is consanguinity. This 
always is and means a closed circle which exists independ- 
ently of all moods of the individual soul. With this closed 
circle stands and falls any possible feeling for kinship and 
home. My own circle I had left in Europe. And from the 
closed circles of South America I felt the more excluded, 
the more they drew me into their radius. For there are 
but two ways of entering into circles of kinship and home, 
which otherwise are without entrance or egress: through 
intermixture of blood and through taking root in the new 
country. 

Thus I felt a stranger and lonely. But out of this very 
sense of forsakenness I felt urged to create a home atmos- 
phere. And from out of this urge I understood the original 
way in which humans have settled the earth. Since man as a 
being of soul and spirit is world-open, he had perforce to 
unite with his kindred, lest he freeze in the coldness of 
the world, just as partridges in a snowstorm press close 
together. The original urge aims at overcoming solitude. 
This is why even a few hours after He had created Adam, 
God saw that it was not good that Man should be alone and 



88 FOURTH MEDITATION 

made him a helpmate out of his own flesh. Hence the 
primacy of group-consciousness within man; not lack of 
individualization is its profoundest basis, as indeed con- 
sciousness of family, tribe and nationality may be found 
among the most individualized and spiritualized peoples. 
Out of the Yeast of the Night of Creation, with the dawn of 
day when light made possible the warmth of Blood, there 
arose the closed blood-community. The root of the blood- 
community too reaches far down into the netherworld. 
The closed system of the warm-blood among other things 
means a safeguard, and is to that extent also a child of 
Original Fear. Still, the world of Blood is a new world, the 
world of Dawning Day. And therewith the dissolving 
shapelessness of the snake which dwells on the near side of 
the cipher turns into articulate groups, and the chaos of 
indistinguishable eating and being eaten into warfare. 
It is a mistake to make too clean a distinction between 
herbivorous and carnivorous creatures: the difference 
between the two is slighter even than the difference between 
exploiting economics and violating politics which are 
constantly merging into each other: what is essential is 
that both are hungry and live upon what is alive. There is 
as little essential difference in this connexion between animal 
and man. The hunting of beasts of prey for their food 
already means genuine warfare. And since here it is a case 
of original and primary things indissolubly connected with 
the earth-part of Life, no progress definitely leads beyond 
the importance of the blood-community and whatever 
pertains to it; thus primordial states can again become 
determinant on every stage of evolution. Hence the primary 
significance of kith and kin in the most modern circles 
of South America. Argentine families of ancient tradition 
form real tribes like those of the Children of Israel ; they 
hold together inwardly, not merely outwardly, in an un- 
heard-of manner; the shortest separation makes them feel 



BLOOD 89 

as though something were tearing in their souls. Here we 
grasp another root of the joy of war: precisely in the hour of 
the passage into the final solitude of the cold Night of Death 
does man desire to feel the close connexion with his fellows. 
Hence modern nationalism. Wherever long periods of 
concentration of humans within States independently of 
natural connexion, and wherever intellect-born powers 
deeply interfering with private life, such as capital, threaten 
to do away with the significance of Blood, the primordial 
forces are convulsively urged to the surface to stand on the 
defence. Only nations of a unifying tradition in which the 
norms of Blood are taken into consideration as a matter of 
course such as France in the first place in post-war 
Europe are not nationalistic to-day after the fashion of 
primitive groups. And thus in the most spiritual ages, given 
some particular constellation, Blood may be felt to be a thing 
of Fate as it was in ancient Nordic days. This applies to 
German racial idealism which, for this very reason, no other 
nation of comparable civilization can understand. Probably 
in order to compensate his hypertrophy of 'objectivity' does 
the German to-day so often lay the stress on Blood in a 
primordial sense and measure. Then indeed Blood is Fate, 
it becomes Fate. Then a completely irrational policy 
inspired by a kind of blood-mysticism must needs appear 
perfectly rational. For everywhere interest in, and stressing 
of a tendency leads to its vitalization. 

BUT the above does not suffice to explain the whole 
significance of Blood. Unity of Blood is not merely a 
fact, it is a postulate. This postulate results from the fact 
corroborated by all experience that unity of Blood creates 
unity of outlook and feeling. If humans enter into relations 
with those who are not of the same blood as they, it is instinct 
of a similar force as the instinct of seclusion within the 
family which, on the other hand, urges them to intermix. 
Since to begin with they do not enter into mutual relation. 



9 o FOURTH MEDITATION 

ship, the postulate of seclusion creates the earliest laws. 
The desire of incest which lies in the nethermost depth of 
each and all, results from the yearning for familiar warmth. 
Hardly ever has the idea of exogamy gained the primacy 
anywhere, before a tribe felt strong enough to assimilate 
alien blood; for this reason, in the extreme case of kings, 
meant to be the symbolic incarnations of the unity and 
equilibrium of their peoples, marriage between brother and 
sister has to this day remained a precept; for precisely this 
is the meaning of the demand of equality of birth; for this 
very reason do sovereigns call each other brothers. But after a 
tribe has gained inner stability and desires to extend its 
conquests over inhabited land, it feels urged, sooner or 
later, to intermix; the goal directing the Unconscious in 
this case is the goal of creating a more extensive sphere of 
home. 

This and nought else explains the policy of assimilation 
which all conquerors have practised in the long run. 
Nothing is to be alien and strange in the surrounding 
world. If all are interrelated, then, but only then, is loneli- 
ness finally overcome. Then so firm a connexion from out of 
the Unconscious sustains every individual that without any 
personal effort each one holds his own preordained position 
within the community and does not even feel solitary when 
he wanders forth into the desert as a hermit. The way 
shown by instinct to create this universal home-atmosphere 
is intermixture of blood. Wherever there can be no question 
of unity through restriction, Blood peremptorily urges its 
bearers to create unity by means of the most universal 
interbreeding possible. Thus everywhere the conquerors 
begat children with the vanquished, and out of this inter- 
breeding emerged other new and permanent units. Natur- 
ally, the conflict of heredities, and not their unification 
was the first result. In this connexion, too, present day 
South America offers the best symbol of all primordial ages. 



BLOOD 91 

The first instigator of a South American revolution in the 
style since become traditional was a son of Cortez with an 
Indian princess. In fact, all peoples and States which sprang 
from intermixture of Blood have begun their historical 
career in the South American way. After the Teutonic 
conquerors had begun to intermingle with the old inhabi- 
tants of the Roman Empire, the state of things was for 
centuries very much like what it is to-day in Mexico. The 
conflict within the souls sought to ab-react in outward 
conflicts. And everywhere and in all ages the 'South 
American state of things' ceased as soon as a permanent 
equlibrium had been attained. Yet even then there never 
was a question of a final state, unless the absolute end had 
been reached. Man is so variable, he is capable of such 
infinite differentiation; on the other hand, he is so apt to 
become fixed in specialized variations, that the rhythmic 
alternation of primarily necessary seclusion and inter- 
mixture of equal primary necessity is eternal. Definite 
fixation understood as a loss of all capacity of variation ever 
was the beginning of the end. The deeper archaeological 
research gropes down and the farther ethnological science 
goes back into primeval ages, the more reason do we find to 
wonder at the manifoldness of the peoples who have 
inhabited the earth and vanished again; on a small scale 
the history of mankind offers the same spectacle as the 
history of the prehistoric animals. There, too, the congealing 
of determinate differentiations was the cause of extinction.* 
In both cases, new life, pregnant with a vital future, ever 
emerged only from what was still or again undifferentiated. 
For intermixture resolves the fixations, and out of this 
follows rejuvenation. 

* I consider this formula the truest to fact, for it includes induration 
(hyper-mineralization; according to Schramme the chief cause of the extinc- 
tion of the animals and plants) as well as relaxation due to too favourable 
conditions of life, and finally degeneration resulting from the accumulation 
of pernicious heredity. 



92 FOURTH MEDITATION 

This explains how the same nations could profess not only 
different, but opposite ideals as time went on. Every nation 
which created a civilization of its own has at some stage 
been guided by the ideals of equality of birth or purity of 
race. And this was always right as long as the period of a 
stabilized and at the same time wholly vital equilibrium 
lasted. But it never lasted long; soon fixation led to con- 
gealment and devitalization. Then salvation, provided 
salvation was still possible, ever lay in rejuvenation by means 
of belief in the opposite ideals. Thus we find opposite 
ideals taken as guiding-stars in opposite situations working 
identical salutary effects. If the perfectly developed man 
of traditional culture has every reason to be very particular 
as to purity of race and equality of birth, lest an alien gen 
shake the existing perfection of equilibrium, healthy instinct 
demands intermixture wherever a new form of life is to come 
into existence. It was this instinct that guided the con- 
querors of the ancient Roman Empire; it was thus that the 
great nations of modern Europe were born. The same 
instinct prompts North America to waive all prejudices of 
caste and race within the framework of the white variety 
of man. South America's feelings in this respect are extreme, 
because its first settlers had no racial prejudice of any 
kind. One evening, when returning to Sao Paulo after a 
visit to a coffee-fazenda, I met with the most convincing 
symbol of this outlook. I passed a celebrated model herd of 
cattle. But there was no question of one single breed : all 
the breeds which have stood the test, from the Anglian cow 
down to the Hindu zebu, were present. Thus South 
America's most original ideologist, Jos Vasconcelos, 
prophesies that the 'cosmic race* which will bring forth the 
highest expression of humanity, 'integral man', will be the 
result of the intermixture of all the races in existence. And 
since the population of South America is the most mixed on 
earth, mankind, according to Vasconcelos, will fulfil its 



BLOOD 93 

destiny there. This theory, understood as the only path to 
salvation, is even more mistaken than the theory of racial 
purity, because many of the genes exclude or neutralize each 
other, and only a determinate and limited number of com- 
binations leads to the development of vital stock. But the 
mere possibility of such a theory arising is all the more 
significant. It is proof positive of the truth of our idea that 
the urge to intermixture at bottom aims at turning the sur- 
rounding world into 'home*. The representatives of an 
unconsolidated mixed race can hope to find the atmosphere 
of home only in an entirely and thoroughly intermixed world. 
Spirit is not able to set up norms of absolute validity for 
Blood. Every kind of eugenics at one time or another led 
itself ad absurdum. A genius emerges as a surprise; nations 
of permanent superiority cannot be bred. If virtue cannot be 
taught and good education does not necessarily create 
valuable individuals, the issue seems altogether hopeless 
where it is a question of improving races by cultivation. 
With animals and plants a lasting improvement of breeds 
is possible, because here the body alone counts with its 
fairly simple laws ; because complete isolation can be main- 
tained and disturbing influences can to a large extent be 
excluded. But how are humans to be bred in the same sense 
as thoroughbred animals, where in their case the individual 
character is more essential than the species? Where spirit 
and soul which no one can isolate are determinant and where 
the laws ruling the chemistry of spirit and soul are totally 
unknown? Moreover, successful races may emerge from 
the most improbable kinds of intermixture. Thus the 
admixture of negro-blood is held in some regions of South 
America to foster intellectual talents. The explanation of 
this phenomenon, as far as it is a fact, possibly lies in this: 
that the inertia of the Indian blood and the coldness con- 
ditioned by the Continent of the Third Day of Creation are 
compensated by the impetuous vitality and the great emo- 



94 FOURTH MEDITATION 

tional warmth of the negro, so that thus indirectly, as though 
by means of a catalysator, a higher level of being comes into 
existence. Brazil at any rate provides the proof that negro- 
blood in a slight admixture Brazil is becoming not more 
negroid every year, but whiter is not necessarily harmful 
in the long run ; on the contrary, it may lead to the formation 
of a new and superior race. In the African kingdoms 
throughout history a similar state of things must have 
existed; had she been born to-day, the celebrated Nephretete 
of Egypt could at best have been a Brazilian woman. What 
is essential is never the problem of 'intermixture or no 
intermixture', but the question of whether out of inter- 
mixture emerges a new and propitious state of balance. 

Now if such an equilibrium has been attained, it represents 
an insoluble unity of a novel quality, exactly as in the case 
of a new chemical combination. In the case of a half-breed 
who has consolidated into a new unity, it is a fundamental 
mistake to speak of the predominance of one determinate 
component, however external appearances may tempt one 
to do so; what is decisive is always the new quality. In the 
long run the blood of the original conquerors which at 
first played the leading part never meant more than the 
language taken over from the victor; here it is not philo- 
logical derivation which decides, but the novel quality of the 
daughter-languages^ their new soul. Nothing could be more 
instructive in this connexion than a meditation of the differ- 
ent meanings which the same words have in Spanish and in 
other Latin tongues (I only set down the Spanish words, 
since most of my readers will be acquainted with the 
corresponding French and Italian modulations). Verificar 
in Spanish means 'to realize', otherwise 'to verify' \facilitar 
in Spanish 'to deliver', otherwise to 'facilitate'; manifestarin 
Spanish 'to communicate', otherwise 'to show' or 'to declare 
publicly'; precise in Spanish means 'necessary', otherwise 
'precise'. Even vis and vicium have been confused in that 



BLOOD 95 

language; otherwise one Spanish fortress would not bear 
the name of Villaviciosa. And in the popular idiom 
the grand word 'destino' 'destiny' has even come to mean 
'a small position'; for instance Fulano tiene un destino de 
quince mil reales; that is, 'Mr. Brown has a "destiny" of 
fifteen thousand 25 centimos pieces.' A new Spirit endows 
old linguistic material with almost any kind of novel 
meaning. The true significance of the intermixture of 
blood can best be estimated by a contemplation of the 
parallel of language. It would be correct to say: to be a 
mulatto means a horrible jargon. The English language 
even to-day according to its wording as such is a monstrous 
mixture of Germanic and Latin fragments. But the unified 
soul of the new English nation expresses itself so perfectly 
in this language, that nobody would dream of calling 
English an unsuccessful mestizisation. In the last analysis 
it is irrelevant in the case of live beings to speak of origins, 
for it is always the Now and Here alone which count. To 
the example of language as a means of clearly illustrating 
the significance of blood-intermixture I would add in 
conclusion the example of the Argentine national dance, the 
tango. This dance originated in suburbs of a doubtful 
character; the most important of its traceable ancestors were 
Cuban negro-dances and Neapolitan songs. Considering the 
great passivity of Argentine man it was obvious that the 
awakener had to come from without. B'ut soon all the vast- 
ness, all the melancholy, all the boundless unresolvable 
passion of the Argentine built itself into the forms which 
had been taken over from without, just as the English 
spirit re-created the original Germano-Latin jargon into a 
convincing original language. The self-contained steadiness 
of the horse-breaker took the place, as background, of the 
exuberant gaiety of the negro and the Neapolitan. The 
crack of the whip adapted to the guitar created a manly 
rhythm. To-day the tango, both the dance and the music, 



96 FOURTH MEDITATION 

belongs to the classics of our age. The way it is danced by the 
compadritos historically the sole genuine way even to- 
day impresses anyone who understands as sacrilege, 
although as late as 1 900 hardly any other way of dancing it 
was known. And the same is true of the sensuous manner 
in which it is danced in Europe. Correctly executed, the 
tango is an expression not of released, but of suspended 
passion, just as the Rio de la Plata carries the purple sand 
suspended to the sea. The genuine tango most resembles 
the minuet; only the minuet is the expression of the sadness 
of autumn, whereas the tango expresses the melancholy of 
spring. 

HOWEVER, the problem of Blood has still another 
aspect, and this aspect gives it the whole of its porten- 
tous significance which again and again leads to tragedy. 
The awakening of the consciousness of Blood within the 
Ego is hardly more comprehensible from the view-point of 
Spirit than is the awakening of the consciousness of miner- 
ality or reptility. For Spirit it means a consciousness of a 
non-Ego. The awakened individual feels itself to be pri- 
marily a 'Self in contradistinction to the species. For this 
very reason did all primary spirituality begin with denial of 
Blood: the prototype of the spiritual man was the monk. 
Thus my original lack of understanding of the tie of Blood 
was nothing abnormal, it was the normal thing from the 
standpoint of a man primarily conscious of spirit. Before I 
achieved integration on the plane of spiritual personality, 
before this spiritual personality closed around the centre 
of the Self, the Hindu phrase neti neti y 'this is not you*, 
ever again and again occurred to me with regard to the 
contents of my consciousness. And the unification succeeded 
only after I had resigned myself to admit, without under- 
standing, that a non-Ego preponderating in quantity never- 
theless belongs to me, and that it is no use denying its 
existence. This consciousness of a non-Ego already applied 



BLOOD 97 

to my soul as I had received it from Nature. How then was 
I to recognize my body as identical with myself? And 
beyond that the more extensive connexion of Blood? It 
was the less possible as this blood carried within itself 
conflicts which I felt had nothing to do with 'me/ However, 
with me it was a case merely of conflicting family-tendencies 
racially closely akin to each other and yet even this 
conflict sufficed to cleave me into parts which faced each 
other with feelings of strangeness and distrust. What 
then must be the feelings of the mulatto and the mestizo? 
True, the full realization of the non-identity of the Ego and 
Blood is possible only from the Spirit; but everyone is 
dimly aware of it, for every man has, however faintly 
conscious, a part in Spirit. And it is possible, it is even 
probable, that the conflict of Blood was the physiological 
cause of the awakening of all consciousness of Spirit. In so 
far the increasingly marked 'Fall' of humanity awakening 
to spiritual independence, as compared with the innocence 
or perfection of more tied states, is not in my eyes a bad 
symptom. The ugliness concomitant with it means no 
more than the ugliness of every transitional or embryonic 
state of organic life. It is at bottom not true that the man 
awakened to self-consciousness harbours feelings of envy, 
jealousy and resentment against other people, unless he 
belongs to a group of victors : he finds it hard to resign 
himself to the fact that he himself cannot be what he visual- 
izes he might be. And he never visualizes anything worse, 
but something higher and better than what he actually is. 
Only on the superior level of amorfati does man, whose basic 
consciousness is that of a sovereign, not find it a bitter task 
to resign himself to the limitations of his nature. And even 
the lowest type of man knows the feeling of inferiority. 
But this feeling alone means proof positive of the fact that 
at least his Unconscious realizes the existence of value and 
therewith of Spirit. 



98 FOURTH MEDITATION 

No man can identify himself completely with his blood; 
even woman as a mother finds it impossible. In this 
sanctum of his sense of Self everyone experiences the 
tragedy which Christianity clothes in the words : The spirit is 
willing, but the flesh is weak. And if consciousness of 
Spirit has awakened, this tragedy is most keenly felt not 
by the most spiritualized, but by those nearest to earth. 
For earth alone binds, whereas Spirit sets free. Hence the 
greater need of religion felt by woman as opposed to man. 
Hence the profound belief in Fate of all primitive men 
Blood is a fate which they feel they have to accept. Hence 
their melancholy. But, on the other hand, earthly happiness 
is possible only in the lap of a communion belonging to the 
plane of the non-Ego. Thus, practical wisdom from days 
immemorial has taken care that personal consciousness 
should play as slight as possible a part. Everything is 
de-personalized and transposed onto the plane of general 
custom and usage. The most modern instance of this 
primitive device is or was until lately provided by 
Spain. I was struck by the fact that most Spanish women 
seemed perfectly content as opposed to the profound 
melancholy of South American women. Jos Ortega y 
Gasset, who confirmed the correctness of my observations, 
explained it as resulting from the fact that personal destiny 
in Spain's highest social ranks is spirited away: since their 
representatives are originally imbued with a profound 
distrust of Life, and are moreover again and again taught by 
examples that every attempt to break away from routine 
leads to disaster, they live out their personal life in the 
projection of impersonal tradition. Thus they manage to 
get round love, passion, grief, in short everything that is 
profoundly affecting. This again does not mean primary 
collectivism, but self-absorption in the Collective from dread 
of personal experience. Thus, the happiness guaranteed 
within the blood-community has ever and everywhere been 



BLOOD 99 

overstressed. Everyone is from childhood onward influenced 
by suggestion to believe that one loves all one's relatives 
as a matter of course, and that as a matter of course one is 
loved by each and all. Conflicts with blood-relatives do not 
exist. 

But the earliest myths already tell of the antagonism 
between Nature and Spirit. The eating of the Tree of 
Knowledge destroyed Paradise. Cain slew Abel, and this 
was the beginning of history. Ancient Greece set forth 
its intimate torment and pain in the form of the myth of 
Oedipus and the Oresteia; it even dared believe that Zeus 
precipitated his father into the depths of Tartaros. The 
earliest days of distinct Spirit-consciousness ab-reacted the 
inner conflict in the form of images. But in later ages this 
conflict became the chief stimulus of historical evolution. 
What distinguishes in its nethermost depths the history of 
man from that of all other creatures on earth is the dynamism 
arising from the antagonism within the frame of self- 
consciousness between the sense of personal identity and 
the non-Ego of Blood. It is this tension which urges man 
from below to strive untiringly beyond his given state. Man 
desires to attain to his personal fulfilment and perfection. 
This becomes possible only after the conflict of Blood has 
been overcome. Out of the discord which the antagonism 
of his paternal and maternal heredities create within his 
soul, he strives for unity. Out of the conflict between the 
separate and disconnected impulses which press upon him 
and the consciousness of a possible ascendancy over them, 
he strives for spiritual personality. Psycho-analysis teaches 
much about the ab-reaction of intimate conflicts of the soul 
in the form of grand enterprise. Thus, according to this 
teaching, Alexander the Great conquered Persia, in order 
to vanquish his own father within himself. But psycho- 
analysis gives too narrow a formulation of the problem, 
and does not penetrate down to its profoundest roots. All 



ioo FOURTH MEDITATION 

outward dynamism is an ab-reaction of inward conflicts. 
Thus, completely balanced souls among individuals as 
among nations cease to strive. Hence the lack of spirituality 
of the Swede. But the ultimately decisive conflict is not 
that between different contents of the soul, it is the conflict 
between the non-Ego of Blood and Spirit. The solution 
true to earth of this conflict is Death. The solution true to 
Spirit is inward withdrawal from the world. 

BLOOD and that for which it stands belong entirely 
to earth. Thus several times I involuntarily wrote 
'home' where I really meant 'kinship'. Thus, meditation of 
the problem of Blood of itself merges into meditation of the 
connexion between man and the soil on which he dwells. 
There is no disregarding the connexion of Blood with the 
earth, not even in the case of the nomad. The latter's state 
only mirrors in a specified form the difference between the 
freely moving animal and the rooted plant. Among 
humans, in particular, the nomads are what the beasts of 
prey and the hoofed animals of the deserts and steppes are 
among animals. Of these, too, it may be said that they lack 
that soulful quality belonging to the game which faithfully 
keeps to the same surroundings. But, on the other hand, 
most of the types of the ruler and the daring trader spring 
from the original nomad.* Every live creature adapts itself 
to its surroundings, or is shaped by them. Owing to the 
extreme variability and peculiar sensibility of man, this is 
true of him in the highest degree. In the long run, there 
always emerges as the ultimate unit a synthesis of Blood and 
Earth which is so firm and so tenacious, that it is easy to 
understand that mistake which Oswald Spengler made: 
his idea being that the root of all culture is to be found one- 
sidedly in the landscape. If Spengler were right, so large 
a number of cultural changes could not possibly have taken 

* Cf. the most interesting considerations on this problem in Offene Welt 
by Otto Corbach. (Berlin, 1932, Ernst Rowohlt Verlag.) 



BLOOD 101 

place on the same soil. But once a connexion between Blood 
and Earth has been created, it represents an insoluble unity. 
The longer this connexion has lasted, the more difficult is 
it to reduce a formation one-sidedly to one or another of its 
elements. Even that which originated in Spirit then enters 
into the synthesis of Blood and Earth as an integral part; 
the Word becomes Flesh, and only in the flesh does it work 
effects. But this implies that not the intrinsic essence of 
Spirit nor its truth nor its value condition cultural signi- 
ficance, but the realization of Spirit within the framework 
of the phenomena in the form of comprehension and 
activity. Now this depends entirely on the vital forces which 
conceived it. What misled Spengler to advocate the exist- 
ence of an autonomous 'soul of the landscape' is the circum- 
stance that the more man becomes rooted, the more does 
the modality of his life converge with that of the plant which 
is inextricably woven into its environments. Thus races 
which have lived for ages in the same country really are 
the children of the landscape (in the widest sense of the 
term) to which they belong, so completely do they live from 
out of it, and so entirely is their life bent towards it. Sensa- 
tions and feelings result from impressions received from the 
surrounding world; these feelings are transformed into 
emotions. The latter attach themselves to the environment 
to which they correspond; they enhance and intensify each 
other through mutual infection; they grow differentiated; 
the differentiated form becomes fixed; the various rami- 
fications growing from different roots anastomose and 
finally there actually emerges a specific 'soul of the land- 
scape', which of course depends on the particular humans 
dwelling in the landscape, but which, once born into exist- 
ence, shapes as a psychic atmosphere every native from the 
moment of his birth and likewise takes hold of every immi- 
grant. This soul of the landscape really means the histori- 
cally decisive agent, as long as it remains vital. Not even 



102 FOURTH MEDITATION 

religions, to say nothing of theories, ever succeed in con- 
quering it, for to the one-sided power-unit of spirit-born 
origin is opposed a complex structure built up of all the 
forces which make up Man in his connexion with Nature. 
Customs, usages, habits are in the long run as fixed in 
their specific character as are physical functions. The 
question of whether the connexion between Man and 
landscape takes the shape of a culture, depends on the land- 
scape only to the extent that 'culture* develops only out of 
rooted states. As a rule, nomads are more spiritual than 
sedentary races, but as such and on their own account they 
do not produce cultures. Beyond these general premises, 
blood and its capacity of conceiving Spirit and bringing 
forth things spiritual play the decisive part in the process of 
formation of culture. Earth certainly stimulates the organs 
necessary for spiritual activity in a specific way and thus 
fosters their growth; surely, India's religiousness has some- 
thing to do with the forces of its soil. But culture stands and 
falls with its significance and spiritual substance; and this 
can never be deduced from what belongs to Earth. 

If now we lay the stress on the earthly side of the connex- 
ion which first we considered from the view-point of Blood, 
we find that we can learn most from the study of the inner 
relationship of Man to new soil. Just as new earth awakens 
the sense of family ties as a safeguard against loneliness, 
even so does young soil call out the most passionate feelings 
of love of home. It does so in a similar sense as the young 
woman inspires the strongest passion, particularly if the 
man is not quite sure of having finally conquered and 
attached her to himself. Compared with this the home- 
feeling of the firmly-rooted resembles the almost unconscious 
bond of affection uniting old married couples. The humans 
most strongly attached to their native country to-day are, 
within my experience, the South Americans, and therefore 
a study of the South Americans is the quickest way to gain 



BLOOD 103 

a clear view of that aspect of the problem from the which the 
influence of earth on the soul emerges most distinctly. 
For the sake of clarity we will attack the problem from the 
question : how is it that in South America, despite all inter- 
mixture of blood, more things European survive and 
promise to survive permanently, than in the United States? 
The reason is that the Spaniards, as opposed to the Anglo- 
Saxons^ surrendered to the new soil. The Anglo-Saxons never 
entered into a vital relationship with it; in the industrial 
age, they even turned away consciously from the earth. 
Therewith the vital bond connecting man with the landscape 
was severed; the nourishment of that part of the soul 
which depends on the earth grew ever more meagre, and 
thus the soul has dwindled. But herewith the European 
tradition was bereft of its physiological substratum. Only 
when incarnated in feelings and habits does even the most 
spiritual tradition live on as an immortal thing. Spirit as 
such does not bind, nor does it create bonds or ties. 

Now all the inhabitants of the Iberian peninsula are 
characterized by an original recognition of and a bent 
towards Earth. Destierro, desterrado (bereavement of one's 
native soil, bereft of the soil) is the word the Spaniard 
uses, where the English say exile> exiled and the Germans 
Verbannung^ verbannt. The soil has ever been so much the 
focus of his interest, that for this very reason the Spaniard 
never has posited the problem of race in the way Anglo- 
Saxons do. The short period in his history in which he 
stressed purity of Blood was the expression of a convulsive 
and religiously determined reaction against too much blood- 
intermixture. Thus, at the time of their emancipation, the 
colonials rose against the Spaniards on the explicit ground 
of their being naddos en la tierra, born in the soil, who as 
such differed as a matter of course from the natives of the 
Iberian peninsula and therefore equally as a matter of course 
claimed the right to live a separate life. Now since the 



104 FOURTH MEDITATION 

question of which parts of a man's soul are vitalized and 
consequently thrive and grow, depends upon the spot on 
which man lays the stress within himself, it is obvious that 
in the case of the Spaniard the soil is given a unique chance 
of working out all its forces within Man. More than any 
other man does the Iberian stand forth as the son of the 
soil on which he dwells; more quickly and more profoundly 
does he take root in new soil. This explains why he alone 
in Europe has remained unchanged throughout the 
millennia, despite the fact that nowhere have so many 
conquering people swept the country overlaying the original 
race and mingling their blood with the latter's. When 
visiting the ruins of Numantia, that Celtiberian stronghold 
which, despite its smallness, offered resistence to the legions 
of Scipio for whole decades, I stood amazed at the identity 
of spirit shown here with all the subsequent manifestations 
of Hispanism. Since the days of the Goths, the Celtiberian 
blood has hardly meant more than a leavening in the 
peninsula yet the very same individualism survives, the 
same particularism, the same pliancy and capacity of 
enduring hardships, the same tenacity, the same loyalty to 
himself, the same power in the defensive. All admixed blood 
within the shortest possible time became assimilated to the 
original native blood, for the very reason that all the emphasis 
lay on the soil. It is true that the same adjustment leads to 
the highest differentiation within Hispanism; consequently, 
more and more distinctly regional types may be found on 
the Iberian peninsula than anywhere in Europe yet the 
psycho-physical unity of the peninsula has always remained 
the decisive factor. Now since the Iberian is rooted in the 
earth with all his feelings and emotions, and since all his 
life is bent earth-ward, there are more earth-forces alive 
and active in his soul than in that of any other European; 
the whole of the emotional sphere is permeated by the 
central well-spring of Life, as blood permeates the body. 



BLOOD 105 

Hence also the Spaniards' peculiarly intimate relationship 
to Blood, although he does not posit the racial problem at 
all ; for him Blood is the symbol of earthly life in a manner 
unknown to any European since the days of the cult of 
Mithras. Thus in the Christian faith, too, all emphasis 
with the Spaniard lies on its earthly aspect. Christianity for 
him is essentially Agony, as Miguel de Unamuno has so 
beautifully shown, not Overcoming of Death; the welling 
forth of the Saviour's blood understood as a real human 
sacrifice in the primordial sense is what matters most to him. 
In that grand stone image of the cathedral of Burgos which 
shows the concatination of all the spheres and worlds, the 
Crucified Christ steps out, as it were, of the plane of Heaven 
and hangs down, nearer the observer, into the sphere of 
earth. 

This soulfulness of theirs, pregnant and mighty with 
Earth, the conquistadores took with them to America. 
They came there not merely as warriors from the very 
first they carried with them cattle and grain, in order to 
take new root, as it were, in native soil which went with 
them. And as thus they entered into relationship with 
the new earth with the vital earth-part of their soul, a 
union took place everywhere. On the one hand, the influ- 
ence of the new soil was from the outset accepted without 
resistence ; on the other hand, whatever could be transplanted 
from Europe could at once take root again. This then 
explains the survival of European cultural tradition in 
South America as opposed to the United States. In South 
America it was as though a tree had been replanted as soon 
as it had been dug up. And in many cases the South 
American earth has proved more propitious to traditional 
life than the soil in which it originated, just as some plants 
thrive better in foreign earth, or put forth more beautiful 
blossoms or bear more exquisite fruit. The emotional side 
of the Hispanic sense of family appears more richly devel- 



io6 FOURTH MEDITATION 

oped on the new earth, because in South America the 
counterpoise of invidualism, which grows from another 
root, is lacking. In South America one finds to-day almost 
more vital ancient Spanish customs than in Spain 
itself. In the Gaucho survives the caballero andante, the 
knight errant; in the cultivated Peruvian the courtly 
Spaniard of the iyth century; in the undisciplinable revolu- 
tionary and the unscupulous caudillo of all the South 
American States survives the son of Macchiavelli's age. 
And thus Spanish customs and usages irresistibly take 
possession of the modern immigrant: the Italian, the 
Syrian, the Slav. In the case of this conservation the 
influence of the hyper-conservative Indian naturally also 
plays a part. Thanks to Indian conservatism there some- 
times even survive in South America antiquated European 
states in the form of real mumifications; that is, not vital 
ancient customs and usages, but indurated states of mind. 
More than once, in South America, I met posthumous 
representatives of the spirit of 1800-1830, with a ghostly 
resemblance to the men of those days even in their physical 
appearance. In one town I could not help remembering 
Conan Doyle's Lost World: where I least expected anything 
of the kind, in the Outermost Corner of the World, I found 
the last exemplars of Moliere's Femmes savantes, pathetic 
in their steadfast genuineness, women to whom intellect 
and intellectual activity still meant an abnormal thing, and 
who because of this cultivated eccentricity had completely 
lost taste, tact, womanly intuition and sense of reality. 

Thus, since with the descendants of the Spaniards all the 
emphasis is placed upon Earth, the earth-side of man 
expands ever more richly in South America, whereas 
vitality and soul dwindle and deteriorate in the United 
States. And in the South American this earth-side on the 
one hand perpetuates things belonging to ancient tradition, 
while, on the other, it bears everywhere the original impress 



BLOOD 107 

of the new soil. When man in the battle of life comes face 
to face with new and alien Nature, adaptation to the outer 
world is so elementary a necessity, that at first almost every- 
thing seems to be explicable in terms of environment. The 
most impressive instance of this fact to-day is provided not 
by the adaptation to new earth, but the adaptation of all 
humans to the novel conditions created by the industrial 
revolution. How long ago is it that the first modern work- 
man was born? Are there many aware of the fact that John 
D. Rockefeller formed the first trust, and that therewith 
the whole standardization of the North American originated 
from this one man? In South America Earth and no indus- 
trial juncture transformed man according to its image. In the 
Pampa the Spaniards could not remain the gardeners and 
vine-growers they had been. Thus the beduin-like Gaucho- 
type came into being. But the Indians in their turn con- 
verged with the immigrants. On the Pampa and the 
Llanos the introduction of the horse first created for man 
possibilities of a normal existence; but no sooner was there 
this link than genuine equestrian races emerged, as it were, 
overnight; equestrian races no less 'born on horseback' 
than Beduins and Caucasians and endowed with the same 
basic feelings. The most essential feature of the change 
worked in the European immigrant through the new soil 
is this : that the stratum of the Third Day of Creation be- 
came determinant. Nothing cold, nothing of the reptile 
dwells in the Spaniards. But he has as little of the sweetness 
so characteristic of the South American, with which I shall 
deal in detail in a latter chapter. When thinking of the 
South Americans of Spanish blood in reference to their 
peninsular ancestors, the comparison of sugar dissolved in 
water always presented itself to my mind. The Spaniard 
too is sweet and delicate in his most intimate essence, but 
he impresses one as being crystalline and hard. The latter 
side of his nature was lost in the new world, whereas the 



108 FOURTH MEDITATION 

sweetness spread everywhere and became intensified. It is 
very characteristic that the Argentine should use passive 
phrases where the Spaniard as a matter of course prefers the 
active form of expression ; he says for instance : 'I am beloved 
by my father/ not 'My father loves me.' Similarly, Spanish 
religious faith has been lost in the new world, whereas 
indifferentism and fatalism survive. But on the other hand, 
Hispanic man has gained in differentiation and mental 
alertness on the new soil. He has become curious, inquisi- 
tive in the original sense of 'inquiry into what is new', a 
thing the Spaniard so emphatically is not. 

Let us now turn to detail. That the unified colonial 
empire, after having gained its independence, should at 
once have separated into many parts, was in the first 
instance an expression of that particularism and localism 
typical of Spain. But the earth-bent character of Hispanic 
humanity led to the result that the inhabitants of the different 
States of South America soon showed differences of soul 
directly reflecting the nature of the landscape they inhabited. 
This holds true down to the very lines tracing the geo- 
graphical boundaries on the map. The bearing of the 
average Argentine is expressive of his consciousness of 
belonging to a wealthy country pregnant with a grand 
future. He is wide-flung in a Russian way. But no more 
than twelve hours' journey from Buenos Aires, in Uruguay, 
the national type is narrow, akin to the Swiss, prudent, 
distrustful, thrifty, sterling, efficient; he is far more realistic 
and to that extent more intelligent than the Argentine. 
The Constitution of his State is said to be the best in the 
world. But the Uruguayan, the 'Oriental', as he is called 
in the Argentine in remembrance of the ancient banda 
oriental, is distinctly small and provincial in his outlook in 
accordance with the relative smallness of his country. The 
Brazilian, on the other hand, is wideflung; the Chilian again 
narrow, but in a different sense than the Uruguayan : inas- 



BLOOD 109 

much as the country of the Chilian may be said to have 
two dimensions only, and is for the greater part a stony 
desert, so that he can just manage to maintain himself along 
the coast, he has retained or acquired something of the nature 
of the Viking; to this extent he is to-day more like the con- 
quistador than any other South American. Hence also his 
military efficiency unmatched on the continent. And now 
for a few observations on the peculiarities of soul of the 
various South American nations regarding which I shall 
intentionally be brief, because thus only do the differences 
show in clearest outline. Argentine man has a peculiar 
kind of arrogance. His is not the natural pride of the 
Spaniard which really means modesty, that is, wanting to 
be neither more nor less than one actually is, the Argentine 
does not so much represent his present state of being as that 
he poses as what he expects to be in the future: he lives 
from out of a projected image of himself,* a fact which, 
on the one hand, makes him more capable of progress 
than are other South Americans, but which, on the other 
hand, makes him liable to cross the line of the rastaquaire. 
He is essentially uncertain of himself. Thus, either he 
exaggerates in parada, showing off, or else in aloofness; 
more often than not he fails to discriminate accurately 
between natural or culture-born dignity and the mask of the 
man who refuses to be impressed by anything. Moreover, 
all those who were bred in the country and yet no longer 
incarnate the knightly tradition of the Gaucho, have that 
specific arrogance of the equestrian races and that peculiar 
coarseness of men who have grown up among horses. 
Here the Argentines converge with Magyars and Tartars. 
The general impression conveyed is a strange blend be- 
tween sweetness and hardness, indolence and elan^ wildness 
and tenue^ romanticism and terre a terre naturalism, weakness 

* This aspect of the problem has been dealt with in a masterly way by 
Jose* Ortega y Gasset in vol. vi of his Espcctador. 



no FOURTH MEDITATION 

and progressive energy, delicacy and provoking incon- 
siderateness which creates an atmosphere of nervous 
tension. The women too participate in this state of nervous 
tension. But on the whole with them predominates that 
quality which appears on the surface only in men endowed 
with supreme gifts of soul : sweet heaviness or heavy sweet- 
ness. Their souls impress one as true daughters of the 
monotony of the Pampa and the vastness of the Rio de 
la Plata. If they are vital and strong, they are rich like 
the exuberantly fertile soil, brooding and sultry like the 
heat of noon on the steppe, melancholy as the horizons at 
eventide and pregnant with tempests like the electrical 
unbalanced atmosphere, that bastard between subtropic 
sun and icy currents from the Antarctic. 

The Brazilian's mind and soul have the frondosidad^ the 
luxuriance of the Brazilian flora ; whatever his blood, he is 
mentally more differentiated than his European father. 
Brazil's peculiar 'legal-mindedness' which has no parallel 
on earth many of the most modern legal ideas, in parti- 
cular those referring to international law are of Brazilian 
origin has its roots in a sense less of justice then of form; 
it is that same sense of form which manifests itself in Brazil's 
incomparable nature. The Portuguese character predeter- 
mines the general structure of soul, as the Spanish character 
determines that of the Hispano-American. But that 
polarity positivism-romanticism* belonging to the Portu- 
guese has found in the new landscape a new expression true 
to the genius loci. Positivism here means an anti-metaphysical 
outlook, a complete absorption in what seems superficial 
from the view-point of Spirit, however considerable the 
natural depth may often be. And saudade here is a superla- 
tivism in the sense of the tropic flora; it is reckless growth 
and decay merging into and exaggerating each other; 

* Cf. my detailed analysis of Portugal in the 5th German and the 2nd 
French editions of Europe. 



BLOOD in 

solid structures can hardly develop. On the other hand, the 
Brazilian lacks the coarseness and plebeian character of the 
Portuguese; generally speaking, he lacks whatever makes 
the latter small and mean. And the aphrodisiac atmosphere 
of the country gives him a charm and a melting sweetness 
never found in Portugal. In our first Meditation, we already 
dealt with the bronze souls of the Indians of the high table- 
lands ; their soul has also immigrated into the European, to 
say nothing of the half-caste. As far as my knowledge of 
the types can be trusted, the Spanish character of the great 
days has been preserved in its greatest purity in Columbia. 
But there the particular tropic environments have led to an 
unparallelled flowering of poetical gifts, so that of all humans 
the Columbians to-day are most deserving of the name of a 
nation of poets. The Mexican is the one man belonging to 
this cultural sphere, in whom the line, not colour, pre- 
dominates; his music is the most melodious and the least 
harmonious of the continent. Moreover, in him survives 
the sombre heroism of the Azteke, albeit often distorted 
into the melodramatic. The Mexicans undoubtedly are a 
strong race and may experience a momentous resurrection. 
Now as to Chili. There, southern races have turned into 
Northerners, that is into the equivalents of the Northerners 
in the direction of the Antarctic. It is surely for this 
reason that the fair Gothic or the modern Nordic element 
which immigrated in more recent days has been so well 
preserved in the Chilian and gained a considerable specific 
weight in its heredity. The Chilians no longer show any 
trace of the Latin. The men have the reputation of rudeza 
in South America as opposed to the delicadeza typical of 
the continent. They are rough and masterful, but no lordly 
types, and despite their greater inward (as opposed to arti- 
ficial) tenue^ they impress one as being less aristocratic 
than other South Americans of the same cultural level. They 
are not only strong and efficient, but often uncouth and 



ii2 FOURTH MEDITATION 

undifFerentiated. Even where no intermixture of blood can 
be traced, they show a convergence with the untamable 
Indian tribe of the Araucans which bears so strong an 
outward resemblance to certain Ugro-Finish tribes of 
North-Siberia. Then a meagre existence in a volcanic 
region has bred a frugality and a readiness for ever new 
beginning, an active fatalism foreign to other South 
Americans which again makes them appear akin to North- 
erners. The difference between the Argentines on the one 
hand, the Peruvians on the other, and the Chilians to-day 
is greater and profounder than that between the Germans 
and the French. A new race is emerging which has more of 
the Araucan than of the Spaniard, because evidently the 
type of the Araucan corresponds best to the country. Thus, 
it is surely due to the spirit of the Chilian landscape that 
the women of pure Spanish blood differ in exactly the same 
sense as do the Araucan women from the men to a degree 
otherwise to be found only among animals. On seeing the 
first Chilian women I experienced a surprise bordering on 
amazement: they are the only women outside the Empire 
of the Rising Sun graced with the charm of the Japanese 
woman; all that I have written in favour of the latter in my 
Travel Diary applies, mutatis mutandis, to this daintiest, 
outwardly figurine-de-saxe-like product of South America. 
This cleavage of the Spaniard in Chili into a rough manly 
and a sweetly-delicate womanly type must be due to the 
soil; and the convergence between the Chilian and the 
Japanese woman must have some connexion with the 
resemblance between the Chilian landscape and Japan. Both 
countries belong^to the general volcanic region of the Pacific. 
In both, the eye delights in an incomparably rich, varying 
landscape and vegetation. Just as the peach-blossoms against 
the background of the Cordilleras mirror on a grand scale 
the flower-motif on the background of the Fuji Yama, the 
subject of so many Japanese artists, even so does the Chilian 



BLOOD 113 

woman of bluest Spanish blood resemble her lovely sisters 
of the land of the Rising Sun more than any nearer relatives. 
On the whole, I may state here that Chili is one of the most 
beautiful countries of this earth : it is predestined to become 
the land of tourists of the South American continent as 
Switzerland is in Europe. 

Thus, in South America new nations are irresistibly 
developing. One day it may stand forth as articulated and 
disrupted as Europe. And in South America the almost 
unlimited variability of man which equals, nay even 
surpasses that of the dog, manifests itself with unique impres- 
siveness, because the manifoldness is becoming more and 
more accentuated, although the peoples on this continent 
speak the same language, and almost the identical blood 
flows in the veins of all. When contemplating Europe from 
South America I first understood completely what it stands 
for. Not a unified humanity would be true to Earth's 
own Spirit, but on the contrary, a humanity so highly 
differentiated that every family might represent a separate 
nation. For each determinate memory creates a determinate 
fixation; in the course of but a few generations it creates 
distinct and permanent racial memories. But an order of 
such extreme differentiation is at the same time the order 
truest to Spirit, provided the separate nations enter into 
communication with each other. For consciousness awakes 
with the realization of differences; and all questions are 
born out of the necessity of recognizing the existence and 
the claims of things unfamiliar. Hegel's theory, according 
to which Spirit can develop only in towns, -and dispersion 
over vast and wild spaces already suffices to de-spiritualize, 
surely is not quite true to fact; but there is no doubt that 
intellect lives and thrives on the perception of differences. 
For this reason alone Europe will ever be of greater spiritual 
significance than North America and Russia. For the same 
reason no greater mistake can be made than to interpret the 



U4 FOURTH MEDITATION 

surcease of national differentiations in terms of progress. 
If spiritualization and consequent de-animalization at first 
lead beyond primordial differentiation, it must subsequently 
all the more merge into equivalent differentiation, if it is to 
survive. For only supreme truth to earth of the vital roots 
can be equal to bearing the tension of supreme spirituality. 
And, fortunately, with peoples things are no different 
than with families and individuals. The process which 
began with Adam ever begins anew in all its primeval 
originality. And there is a rebirth of first beginnings every 
time new beginnings on new soil set in. As soon as man 
by detaching himself from the old stock or by stepping 
out of the frame of his tradition falls into a new state of 
inner loneliness, Original Fear awakes afresh in all its 
ancient, uncanny and formidable force. It seeks security 
in property, community of blood and the feeling of home. 
Thus it comes about that phenomena apparently of an 
entirely novel character are best understood through 
meditation of the most ancient. This is true of two pheno- 
mena of our own days: nationalism and the agrarian 
revolution. In nationalism Blood revolts against the dis- 
regard and neglect it experiences at the hands of the spirit 
of the mechanistic age. But the true significance of the 
agrarian revolution lies at even greater depths: its roots go 
down to the world of the Third Day of Creation. South 
Americans are fond of maintaining that on their continent 
the social problem has found an exemplary solution. In 
so doing they confuse the conditions Europeans are 
striving to attain with a state of things in which the social 
problem has not yet arisen. As yet the Indians of the 
mountain heights have no desire of changing the conditions 
they have been used to for thousands of years. In a world 
which is either sparsely settled or new or overlaid with a 
new stratum everybody endowed with the necessary 
initiative still succeeds without difficulty in finding the right 



BLOOD 115 

kind of relationship to the soil. Now on our continent too 
ancient a tradition of ownership has destroyed the natural 
equilibrium between man and earth. This, and no other, 
is the basic reason of that revolutionary state which mani- 
fests itself more clearly in Russia than in the West of 
Europe, but which in reality exists in every country of the 
Old World with the one exception of depopulated France. 
The leitmotiv of the rising Russian peasant was the verse: 
Semlyd nitschya, 'the land belongs to no one'. The meaning 
of this verse was this : that every man on earth has the same 
claim to own a part of the soil as to breathe the air. For the 
same intuition Mexico invented the verse which best 
formulates the basic feeling of reflecting man: La tierra 
a quien la trabaja: 'the land for him who works it'. The 
metrical wording is symptomatic: metrical structure always 
denotes an existing harmony with the rhythm of earth. 
When Rabindranath Tagore as an old man began to paint 
his pictures really being elaborations of the lines and ink- 
blots on the proof-sheets of his verses he propounded the 
theory that the meaning of Life lies in this: to absorb all 
experience into one's own being in such a way that it 
vibrates in harmony with one's personal rhythm; this is 
so from the standpoint of the soul. Only, the fact that 
rhythm is decisive proves that the soul belongs to earth and 
not to Spirit. The man who speaks in metrical form as 
opposed to the man who expresses himself in prose is 
nearer to earth; he moves in harmony with the numerical 
laws of the earth. Thus the metrical structure of the 
slogans of the agrarian revolution are proof positive of the 
depths to which they reach down in the netherworld. Its 
claims have nothing to do with any abstract 
property, and most emphatically nothing with 
Rights of Man : they are an expression of tl^sjenj^of the 
originally right relationship between Man ^ 
likely in all history there have existed but 




ii6 FOURTH MEDITATION 

and therefore profound motives for revolutions capable of 
working lasting effects. First the urge of new blood to rise 
to the surface of the social world; it is born out of the feeling 
that the traditional upper strata of society have lost their 
vital claims; most of the leaders of such revolutionary 
movements were bastards of the traditional rulers and the 
daughters of the land: that is, they were representatives 
of younger and more vital lines of the ancient stock. The 
second urge is the urge to restore the true relationship with 
Mother Earth. This was the urge which led to the destruc- 
tion of the Roman Empire. The Bolsheviks of those days 
were the Teutonic tribes which were then hailed by the 
peasants of the Roman provinces because the latter no 
longer saw any other means of rising from serfs into free 
dwellers of their native country. I myself have lost not only 
my property, but the land of my birth and my ancestral 
home in consequence of an agrarian reform. And yet I 
must acknowledge: all hope of a new and better state of 
Europe is actually bound up with a new solution of the 
problem of land. And for this there are reasons profounder 
than the over-rationalization of the large estates which can 
no longer employ as many people as are in search of work; 
profounder too than the economically desirable limits of 
industrialization: there is no other way of helping man to 
strike new roots. Unless he is rooted in the earth, he 
becomes de-vitalized, once a reversion to primordial nomad 
life has become impossible for physiological reasons. Not 
only does the land grow empty, when the principle La tierra 
a quien la trabaja is no longer held : the Blood degenerates. 
Now if Blood has degenerated, Spirit can no longer find a 
body true to earth. Then does the man without roots 
become the prototype of all that is representative of Spirit. 
And the uprooted man cannot help desiring to destroy in 
order that the Earth be his home. 



FIFTH MEDITATION 



FATE 



I KNOW now what fate or destiny means. It is 
nothing metaphysical. It is true that its meaning 
can no more easily be grasped from out of the con- 
cept of necessity as it is generally understood. The case of 
that remarkable Brazilian butterfly with its giant-antennae 
resembling the ears of a hare which is able to scent the 
presence of a female in heat at a distance of three miles 
requires no explanation in the sense that this particular 
female represents its 'fate' ; and things are scarcely different 
with most particular accidents which occur in the course of 
man's life. Most humans are of too indifferent an individu- 
ality than that many accidents could not become equally 
significant for them. Furthermore, the present-day intelli- 
gence-system in the human world seems superior to all 
long-distance organs of the animals, so that it is as possible 
to sense affinities in antipodes as to become aware of their 
existence close at hand. Yet this does not preclude that 
there actually exist fateful accidents, that is, such as require 
a different interpretation from those hitherto alluded to. 
To the determinate life-melody of determinate beings also 
Drganically belong determinate external accidents; a fact 
which the idea of causality as it is generally understood fails 
to explain. 

In what sense this is so became clear to me when an 
accident this time pure, real accident brought before 
me the most recent discoveries about the history of the eel. 
This curious fish, which attains to sexual maturity only 
:oward the end of its life, then wanders from the rivers and 
akes of the North to the deep-sea between the Bermudas 
md South America; there it brings forth a new generation, 
md then perishes; at any rate no full-grown eel has ever 
eturned from the Tropics. For years the young eels bear 
Dut a very slight resemblance to the image of their future 



120 FIFTH MEDITATION 

perfection; they pass through the strangest larval states. 
But the most mysterious thing of all is this : although they 
appear in no wise fit for long pilgrimages, as soon as they are 
able to move, they make for the sweet waters of the North. 
There only do they grow up. But there, again, they cannot 
propagate. If fate thwarts the longing of the mature eel 
for the tropic sea, he dies without progeny. Many another 
animal's odyssey is even more adventurous. The best 
known may be that of the tape-worm, which passes through 
all the stages of its possible career only when as a determinate 
larval stage it 'happens* to get onto some determinate grass 
and then 'happens' to be eaten by some determinate animal. 
A simpler instance of the same relationship is provided by 
the birds of passage. But I should like to keep to the eel, 
because its particular case revealed to me the significance 
of the general problem of fate. Here, there can be no 
doubt that the shifting in space intrinsically belongs to the 
melody of life, which as such is a thing solely of the dimen- 
sion of time. Now evidently the same is generally true of 
chance within the connexion of fate, wherever the latter 
word can be reasonably applied. The career of the eel and 
the course of the birds of passage and the vicissitudes of 
nations and individuals are different expressions of one and 
the same original connexion. 

For its comprehension Einstein's theory of relativity 
furnishes the most adequate scheme. And in this case one 
can fill this scheme with a vitally understandable content; 
a thing impossible with regard to the world of objects of 
the physicist. From the view-point of understanding it is 
absurd to assert that time is the fourth dimension of space ; 
for space and time are determinate qualities whose difference 
and incompatibility no formula, however correct, can bridge. 
Here, the only conceivable way to make the idea compre- 
hensible would be the following trend of thought: there 
should exist a being capable of experiencing the primary 



FATE 121 

unity of time and space as immediately as we experience 
space and time as belonging to different dimensions. Now 
in the case of fate such a unity incomprehensible to thought 
can actually be experienced. Were they endowed with 
consciousness, the eel, the tapeworm and the bird of passage 
would immediately realize that a determinate movement 
in space intrinsically belongs to the melody of their life, 
and determinate accidents to the fulfilment of their destiny. 
If a formula for this relationship could be found, it would 
have the same meaning as the basic formula of Einstein's 
theory. As a matter of fact no such formula can be set up, 
not only because here it is a case of essentially concrete 
situations that is, of situations which cannot be understood 
as particular cases of a general law but above all because 
here freedom comes into play at every point. But no matter 
whether or how far one may succeed in finding the right 
concept for the case under all circumstances the tape- 
worm, the eel, the bird of passage live immediately from out 
of a synthesis which comprises simultaneously Time and 
Space, Necessity and Accident as integral component parts. 
And thus, too, and all the more so does a man who is 
conscious of a personal destiny experience them. The more 
marked his personal line of life, the more do all accidents 
which befall him necessarily belong to him. He feels where 
he 'should* turn at a given moment; he feels when his hour 
is come and when it is past. 

It is exactly in this sense that I 'had' to go to South 
America, although I might very well have refrained from 
undertaking the voyage. The case of man endowed with 
free will stands in exactly the same relationship to that of 
the eel impelled by blind generic urge, as accidents which 
befall a person stand to a will which deliberately provokes 
accidents. Man voluntarily exposes himself to the hazards 
of his life; he takes conscious advantage of his chances. 
That such a relationship exists seems to me directly proven 



122 FIFTH MEDITATION 

by the fact that, according to all human experience, only the 
man who has the courage to risk fulfils what others subse- 
quently call his necessary destiny. The intrinsic significance 
of accident remains what it is; only the behaviour of the 
man it befalls is different. What has been said is true even 
of supremely spiritualized man: the inward melody of 
life awakes and attains perfection, only where external 
inducements force it to do so. Hence the significance of 
chance and accident in the lives of all great men; their 
importance goes so far here that there are legends and 
traditions which fully express what they mean and which 
yet refer only to external happenings. Hence, on the other 
hand, the necessity which arises, again and again, in 
the life of every man to assent to and accept the role of 
accident a thing which is, more often than not, anything 
but easy. My grandfather whose life was exceptionally 
blest was wont to say that at bottom it had been a chain of 
mishaps.* As a matter of fact, the beautiful epic flow of 
his life was due to a considerable part to his resignation 
of personal desires. Of me it is often thought that I have 
always done exactly what I wished to do, for I have not often 
needed to bend to circumstances in the usual sense of the 
word. And yet precisely the decisive turns in my life which 
led to better things are due to my having, often with a heavy 
heart, made a sacrifice of my bents and wishes. I did so 
from the feeling that precisely my inward destiny at the 
given moment necessitated my consent to something which 
seemed purely external. 

In the above we find the roots of what is true in astrology 
and in the Chinese Book of Transformations, the / 



* One should read his biography compiled from his letters by his daughter, 
Baroness von Taube: Graf Alexander Keyscr/ing, ein Lebembild in Brief en > 
Berlin, Vereinigung Wissenschaftlicher Verleger. 

t The only edition true to the original sense and at the same time com- 
prehensible to Europeans which has hitherto appeared is the German transla- 
tion published by Eugen Diederichs, edited and annotated by Richard Wilhelm. 



FATE 123 

The fate or destiny which these sciences mean and outline 
differs from the fate hitherto contemplated only in so far as 
their starting-point is the cosmos as a whole and not the 
earth; but precisely this premise is undoubtedly correct. 
Astrology asserts that on the flane of nature every life has a 
route to which it is bound. This is true in the same sense 
in which it applies to the eel. And just as the eel may easily 
fail to fulfil its destiny, if it be driven off its course by 
currents or devoured on its way to the Tropics, even so no 
horoscope precludes Sense-realization and realization of 
Spirit. To the static truth of astrology the / Ging adds the 
necessary dynamic component. Every moment, according 
to the teaching of the Book of Transformations, every man 
is the centre of a determinate cosmic situation. From this 
there result only determinate possibilities for the good. 
Thus, according to this teaching, there are times when to 
act is advisable, and times when it is wise to refrain from 
acting; at one moment it is good to anticipate, at another 
to bide one's time; of two possible directions at one moment 
the one should be taken, and the other at another time. Here, 
too, there is no question of anything metaphysical. On the 
basis of age-old experience the I Ging merely states general 
rules, the possibility of whose existence results from the 
laws governing large numbers. The route is prescribed 
only for the Good; every moment man is free to will and to 
do disastrous things, just as an animal can be prevented by 
outward accident which crosses its path from fulfilling the 
normal course of its life. Now astrology asserts that good 
and bad luck too are inwardly conditioned we may with- 
out hesitation subsume the modern ideas of 'having a 
chance' and 'taking advantage of a chance' under the rich 
idea of 'good fortune' as antiquity held it; according to it 
good fortune meant an inherent virtue. This, too, may be 
admitted, because this idea of luck likewise does not lead 
beyond the frame of Nature. The soul of every being is 



i2 4 FIFTH MEDITATION 

akin to the organ of scent of that Brazilian butterfly we 
mentioned in the beginning. If modern psychology teaches 
that man 'evokes' the accidents of his life, this only means 
that the Unconscious leads each one in the direction of the 
happenings which correspond to him. If every affinity 
of this kind is lacking, no accident of personal significance 
can supervene. In so far most accidents do not fall under the 
idea of fate. But one should be careful not to attribute to 
the purposeful Unconscious everything the nineteenth 
century ascribed to causality which then was held to be 
divinely omnipotent, omniscient and ubiquitous. What 
can be affirmed with certainty is only the existence of a 
connexion of multiple dimensions which among other com- 
ponents includes real irreducible accident; a connexion 
which we compared with Einstein's world-construction. 
Therewith I revert to the sentence in which I said that I 
'had' to go to South America, albeit I might very well have 
refrained from making the voyage. As a matter of fact 
I fought a greater inward battle about the question of 
whether I should obey the call which had come to me, than 
I had ever fought in most previous cases of necessary outward 
decision. I felt that this pilgrimage meant danger for me 
a thing in which, again, there is nothing mystical, since I 
had sufficient knowledge to have at least an unconscious fore- 
boding of the probable effect of the clash between this 
world and my own nature. But the fact that I went there 
was genuine fulfilment of destiny. For without South 
America the problems with which I am dealing in this 
book would never have presented themselves to my mind 
as they have done. It is not every 'accident' which calls 
for things of equal 'inner necessity'. 

FROM out of this recognition we have gained one more 
co-ordinate which helps to determine what Blood 
means. For Blood, among other things, also means 'Fate' 
and, under certain circumstances, its most essential part. 



FATE 125 

And from this angle it becomes clear, in the first place, how 
very natural it is to quarrel with fate, barring the case of 
such complete and perfect good fortune as humanity since 
days immemorial has held to be a provocation which 
rouses the envy of the gods. One may even say this : only 
a man of supreme inner superiority does not quarrel with 
his fate, for he alone has the greatness of soul to accept 
freely what does not depend on him, what is not identical 
with himself and yet belongs inextricably to him. There is 
good reason for the fact that the perfectly beautiful woman 
and the man of perfect racial development or the all-round 
man who is accomplished and complete in every respect 
hold their heads high to the point of Greek Hybris: they 
do incarnate a lucky constellation suggestive of the belief 
in Election of Grace. But in most cases the sentence that 
'the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak', mutatis mutandis, 
holds true. We have already explained that in the higher 
stages of development most of man's resentment, most of 
his envy and most of what is ugly in him is due to the fact 
that Spirit in its consciousness of freedom cannot recognize 
that fate's unkindness should set limits to his willingness. 
Why should not I be called to great things like that other 
man? Why should another nation possess greater power of 
attraction or occupy a higher position in the world than 
mine? Why may not I accomplish great things, where I 
am no less gifted than many whose lives mean fulfilment? 
In thoughts like these is rooted the profoundest strength of 
the proleterian revolution. The tremendous impetus of the 
mass-movements of this age can only be understood as 
proceeding from the strength of spirit and soul which is 
called out by rebellion against Fate. And such rebellion is 
not an unworthy thing. It was a revolt indentical in signi- 
ficance which lifted man, the bearer of the freedom principle, 
out of the connexion of Nature which seemed fixed once 
and for all. Thus, every revolution meant rebellion against 



126 FIFTH MEDITATION 

Fate, and if it was succesful, posterity always worshipped 
its leaders as heroes. Resignation indeed befits man only 
after he has realized his highest possibilities. Until then 
the most boundless and unlimited ambition, nay the craving 
for the impossible is what is true precisely to human destiny; 
for here, as opposed to the destiny of the eel, free initiative 
plays the most important part. This is why every higher 
religion teaches that good will is what ultimately matters. 
But, on the other hand, everyone has to accept his fate 
as a last resort in this sense that he should not will himself 
different from what he actually is. And there my feeling of 
strangeness in the South American world has opened my 
eyes to many things which I used to overlook, or rather 
which I failed to see in the proper light. The significance of 
the fact that every Now and Here is determined by a specific 
Past, became clear to me. I felt a stranger in South America, 
not only because I had no kinsfolk there, but also because 
from the outset I envisaged most problems from a different 
angle than did the South Americans, a fact which made 
mutual understanding impossible. We did not speak the 
same language. Every Now and Here is and means some- 
thing different according to what lies behind it. If the latter 
is a long past, unbroken by any factor of discontinuity, and 
which survives in the tradition if not of the Conscious, at least 
of the Unconscious, then this cumulated memory creates 
a particular point of departure for all experience which no 
one can actually hold, who has not lived through the same 
history, and which only a person endowed with the highest 
gifts of mental vision, if he does not incarnate something akin 
to it, can experience in imagination. On this rests the pecu- 
liar mystic quality of nationalism. Every scion, conscious 
of his roots, of a nation which has acquired an individual 
form is the bearer of something intimate which he shares 
with all his countrymen equally conscious of their roots, but 
with no citizen of alien nations; thus he feels every med- 



FATE 127 

dling on their part not only as an inadmissible interference, 
but as a desecration. To the same fact is due the peculiar 
arrogance of ancient races. They really are the bearers of a 
wisdom, which younger races lack, and incarnate a superior 
state of Being corresponding to it. Hence the greater force 
physiologically inexplicable which is shown by blood of 
ancient culture in the case of intermixture. Joseph Reib- 
mayr has shown in his history of the devlopment of genius 
and talent that at one time or another, often after a long period 
of incubation, this superiority invariably manifests itself; 
thus, the fact that great talents emerge at an increasingly 
later period in post-antique Europe as one proceeds from 
the South and the West to the North and the East is due to 
the fact that the admixture of blood of antique culture be- 
comes ever slighter proceeding in the same direction. The 
same phenomenon manifests itself with particular clarity 
in South America. In Mexico and Peru the Spaniard is 
becoming indianized; in these regions dwelt races of more 
ancient culture than was that of Spain; accordingly there 
a Renaissance of the Indians may be expected. Whereas 
in Chili the Araucan is becoming europeanized, for he had 
no civilization of his own. But more generally speaking, 
all ancient races have determinate memories exactly in the 
same sense as individuals. The French are different from 
the Germans, because to state but one reason they have 
experienced a determinate great revolution, and this at the 
particular time of the end of the eighteenth century. The 
Spaniards are different from the other Europeans, be- 
cause their memories, on the one hand, go back to prehis- 
toric days, but, on the other, do not include the Reformation 
and the eighteenth century. Understood thus, 'race* is a 
very real value; not indeed in the sense of alleged inferior 
or superior blood, but in the sense of this or that memory 
become Being and habit, which represent a psychical fact of 
different value, of course, in each separate case. Centuries 



128 FIFTH MEDITATION 

of slavery make for determinate hereditary character as 
necessarily as do centuries of rulership. Present-day Europe 
and Russia would appear less ugly if classes which had 
lived too long under oppression were not there playing the 
decisive part. 

But, on the other hand, every life, even the life moored in 
the most ancient tradition, begins anew with every genera- 
tion, as though nothing had happened before it; and this 
circumstance, too, must be taken into consideration in each 
separate case. All youth feels impatient when its elders would 
continue to guide it on the grounds of the greater experience, 
beyond the time when it has become full-fledged. And the 
young are right: their own particular point of insertion 
into the scheme of things is not the same as that of their 
parents; therefore the latter most rarely see them in 
the right light and judge them correctly; for in most 
cases they proceed from the prejudice that children must 
needs resemble their parents. This relationship appears 
exaggerated when old and young nations clash. Mother- 
nations are apt to forget that the mere fact that the history 
of the daughter-nations began later in time makes of them 
different nations. Every nativity determines a new and 
unique basic situation; it marks, in particular, a limit in the 
direction of the past, beyond which lies nothing of personal 
importance; it defines a peculiar angle of vision and creates 
a peculiar rhythm of active life. Periods of revolution, when- 
ever they can, introduce a new chronology. If the chronology 
of the Jews and the Greek Orthodox Church sets in with the 
Creation of the World; if the chronology of the ancient 
Romans began with the Foundation of the City and that of the 
Jacobins with the French Revolution, we are witnessing the 
same with the Fascist! to-day. In the case of ancient peoples 
who yet take an active part in the historical process, exclu- 
siveness never means the last word, the reason being that 
after all a common current carries along those rushing ahead 



FATE 129 

and those continuing the old tradition. But new races on 
new soil cut out new channels for themselves, and thus they 
would have a divine right to use a different measure of 
of time than we do. The history of the two Americas 
settled by the white man only set in with the colonization. As 
I have shown in America Set Free, one may say almost with- 
out exaggeration that emigrants only take along their 
bodies, but not their souls. Both Americas therefore do not 
in the least understand our problems which are conditioned 
by our longer past, because for them this past is no longer 
vital. They have joined in the Anthem of History in a dif- 
ferent place than we did; they inserted themselves into the 
scheme of things at a different point and the result is a 
fundamentally different melody and a different measure; 
for the specific weight of the same happenings is different for 
the old and the new worlds. The North Americans differ 
from the Europeans among other reasons for this that they 
were never pagans ; their history began in the i yth century, 
it set in with Christianity, and Puritanism at that. The South 
Americans began their historic life in the age of Macchiavelli 
and of the lansquenets. This tradition was later overlaid 
with the peaceful tradition of old Spain. And if Spain for 
itself has not experienced the Renaissance, the Reformation 
and the eighteenth century, the same is all the more true 
of South America. Add to this the influence on the Euro- 
pean immigrant of the life-rhythm of the Indian and of the 
long tradition of overlordship over slaves which, thanks to 
the work-despising cavalier ethos of the Spaniards, has left 
unusually deep traces in the souls. Thus I remember a 
a fragment of a Cuban song which a son dedicates to his 
mother, thinking to pay her the highest tribute : 

El solo trabajo que hiciste 

Soy yo que te le di. 

[The only work you ever accomplished is that which I 
gave you: (namely; by bringing me into the world).] 



i 3 o FIFTH MEDITATION 

But, on the other hand, all South Americans are pro- 
foundly influenced by that Europe which came into existence 
after the French Revolution, and therewith foremost by 
France; this makes them bent upon the future, liberal- 
minded and despite their natural passivity progressive as 
far as their intention goes. All this taken together results 
in a unique synthesis of things ancient and modern. A totally 
new melody with undreamt-of rhythms is beginning to 
sound in the symphony of mankind. Indian tenacity and 
passivity, the memory of the age of the great discoveries 
which continues as an active stimulus, the tradition of the 
cavaliers and modernism: these four co-ordinates indeed 
suffice to determine a modality of life fundamentally dif- 
fering from the European, and therewith a different destiny. 
How should I not have felt there a profound sense of strange- 
ness, once I had turned my attention to the problem of 
earth? I have not seen South America^ horoscopes. But 
they ought to be antipodally opposed in particular to North 
European horoscopes. Freedom means almost nothing to 
these peoples. Their life is essentially suffering experience. 
And yet they are progressive. This alone makes for an 
entirely un-European fate. 

NOT individuals only, nations too have a destiny. Since 
I have observed the Indians who refuse to live dif- 
ferently than they did in the days of the Incas; since I 
have seen that certainty of a grand future which charac- 
terizes Argentine man and have identified myself with the 
consciousness of the Brazilians who, even when they were 
born in Portugal, as a matter of course do not consider 
themselves Portuguese since then the significance of 
historical destiny has become clear to me. Here, too, it is 
a question of Fate in the very sense which applies to the eel. 
There are nations which have an imperial destiny and others 
which have not; the fate of some is linked to continents, 
and that of others to the seas ; some are predestined to be 



FATE 131 

great nations, others can never get beyond the state of pro- 
vincials; some are called to be agents, others to be instru- 
ments of history. It is not a matter of accident, if a nation 
expands or breeds daughter-nations or continues as a closed 
system within a determinate space. Nor is it a matter of 
accident in what direction a nation turns, for man, unless he 
be born a serf, remains only where he feels that the surround- 
ing world is congenial to him. The migrations of the peoples 
have ever been events of fate. Thus, there exists a real orga- 
nic correspondence between the Iberian peninsular and 
South America, of which the remarkable compatability 
with the Indians is but one expression ; never have birds so 
wisely guided the ways of men as did those parrots, the 
direction of whose flight induced Columbus to turn his 
ship's course from Florida to the Antilles. In the case 
of movements or revolutionary changes on a large scale it 
is a mistake to place in the foreground the idea of 'political 
ability' or any kind of special talent; nations have at 
bottom and in the first instance a real destiny which is the 
result of the particular constellation of Blood and Earth 
(understood in the widest sense) which they incarnate. But 
this destiny too is nothing metaphysical, nothing mystical; 
there is nothing in it which requires the assumption of 
spiritual Providence. Spengler would be less mistaken than 
he actually is, had he not omitted two things in his construc- 
tion : to estimate correctly the importance of rejuvenation 
and of accident, of irreducible accident. If one inserts the 
corresponding quantities into Spengler's equation, it is not 
incorrect to say that destiny qua destiny is preordained. No 
objections to this statement can be made on spiritual grounds 
since the idea of fate applies solely to the terrestrial path, and 
never to spiritual significance. 

Now the dynamic element in the connexion of Fate 
what corresponds to the teaching of the / Ging completing 
the static aspect of destiny outlined by astrology is re- 



132 FIFTH MEDITATION 

presented by the arts of strategy and politics. Here it be- 
comes clear with conclusive distinctness that positively no- 
thing spiritual nor metaphysical plays any part in fate as 
such. Strategy and politics have their roots in blind prim- 
ordial impulse. The very earliest races already knew of the 
same strategical boundaries which to-day staff-officers ascer- 
tain by means of calculation ; the case is the same as that of 
the one route to which animals of the same kind invariably 
keep in however new a landscape. Attila, who lacked all 
education, at once accurately gauged the specific weight of 
the rulers of Eastern and Western Rome and at a glance saw 
through the cunning intrigues of the Byzantines. Success 
in politics is not only actually, but essentially impossible 
where political instinct is lacking, And this not because 
genius is required here, but for the opposite reason : because 
in this primordial domain the blind man most easily finds 
his way. If one sets about analyzing the haute politique of 
all the ages with regard to its actual, not its alleged or ideolog- 
ical elements, as Ferdinand Lion* has up till now best 
succeeded in doing, it will be found that not one single 
spiritual motive plays a primary rdle in its domain, nor can 
this ever become the case. Politics belong entirely to the 
plane of primeval life. Blind urge to power, blind instinct 
of possession and blind ecstasy of bloodshedding are the 
profoundest physiological motives which animate statesmen. 
If these instincts are lacking, or if they appear subjected to 
spiritual motives to the extent that their significance changes, 
political activity invariably proves abortive. But let us put 
aside for the present the men who make politics, of whom I 
shall have more to say later: what are the objects political 
activity deals with? With relations of space and time and 

* Cf. his book Die grosse Politik (Stuttgart, Deutsche Verlagsanstalt). 
It is the first book entirely true to significance on the subject which I know of. 
Among theroeticians of politics Lion is something akin to what the great 
Frenchman Tarde was among sociologists. 



FATE 133 

weight; it knows of no qualities nor values as last resorts; 
nor can it possibly be otherwise. Politics are so indifferent 
to these things that for the statesman religious values lie on 
the same plane ks material values. Politics are entirely indif- 
ferent to the spiritual significance of the means they make 
use of to gain their ends; for solely the gaining of their 
object which means nothing else but fulfilment of destiny 
in the sense of the eel is and can be their goal. What is 
held to be the supreme value in each separate case, depends 
upon the particular character of the destiny in question. 
The ocean-bound realm of the British Empire must main- 
tain at all costs certain detached strategical points spread all 
over the globe, whereas for an essentially continental power 
there is no such necessity. The specific weight of every 
State as such at every given moment defines the rdle it must 
play with regard not only to the policy of power, but also 
to the spiritual policy it has to follow. An independent 
State which is small and weak is bound to support the idea 
of international law of treaties binding once and for all. The 
vanquished must stand for different aims than the victorious ; 
it was true to sense that imperialistic Germany after its 
defeat, from one day to another, turned into the champion 
of the rights of the weak. Again, for the administrator of a 
spiritual empire, such as the Pope's, values of a totally dif- 
ferent nature must be paramount. Here one may even admit 
that to a great extent the Marxist doctrine is right, when it 
asserts that talents owe their origin to a particular external 
constellation. Every constellation stimulates the develop- 
ment of the qualities which correspond to it, and if corres- 
ponding talents are at all existent, they grow in correlation 
with the constellation. Thus, the hereditary intelligence of 
certain races, such as the Armenians and the Jews, is doubt- 
less the product of oppression. And there is much to say in 
favour of the idea that the intellectual progress of the last 
century has something to do with the rising of the lower social 



134 FIFTH MEDITATION 

ranks. In this connexion Behaviourism is indeed right. All 
good home policy has always acted according to Behaviourist 
principles. Now with foreign policy it is necessarily a case 
of externals in the absolute sense. A policy which fails to 
move in a purposeful manner on the plane of externals, can- 
not claim to be called policy at all; therefore, policy of this 
kind has in all history led itself ad adsurdum in a manner 
most disastrous for the nation in question. In so far the 
ideologists have ever been the worst traitors precisely to 
spirit. For by misunderstanding the laws of the earth they 
have, again and again, prevented the realization of spiritual 
ideals. 

Now the man who handles the elements of historical 
destiny with the greatest skill is not the most spiritual man, 
but he who is nearest to earth ; not the most farsighted man, 
but he who grasps most keenly what is close at hand; it is 
the man whose spirit most nearly equals the body in its way 
of holding its own against the changes within the surround- 
ing world. Hence the absolute impossibility of intellectual- 
izing politics : their scope is precisely to adapt themselves, 
from one moment to another, to the irrational elements of life. 
Hence the absolute impossibility of moralizing politics. 
Within the sphere of primordial earthly life killing is as 
normal a thing as natural death. There the lie which means 
deception ranks before truthfulness. The ugliness and Evil 
which almost universally characterizes the devices employed 
by foreign policy, devices which, one way or another, always 
at bottom mean violation or seduction or extortion or deceit, 
correspond to the basic nature of the netherworld. Who can 
doubt, especially in our days, the essentially hellish char- 
acter of politics? Wilson's 14 Points were accepted as a 
matter of course, in order to put an end to the War, 
and again as a matter of course they were ignored 
afterwards, or else interpreted with absolute mala fides in 
accordance with the material interests of the victorious powers. 



FATE 135 

Since then money holds a more sovereign sway in the world 
than ever before; human life and happiness mean less than 
they have ever meant. Each and all are aware of the crimes 
committed by the Bolshevists ; each and all condemn them in 
sonorous phrases. But not only does everyone in a position to 
do so turn to profit the material advantages which the Bolshev- 
ists offer more and more does the world pass from the 
fiendish deeds they have perpetrated for more than a decade 
to other matters of interest. Misdeeds so flagrantly evil 
have not been committed nor acquiesced in since the days 
of the Renaissance. But even the tamest political practice 
cannot bear the test of the most tolerant spiritual standards. 
Paul Val^ry has recently defined politics in the following 
manner: La politique fut d'abord fart d'empScher les gens de 
se mSler de ce qui les regarde. A une epoque suivante, on y ad- 
joignit I'art de contraindre les gens a decider sur ce qitils 
nentendent pas. In this definition the essential mala fides 
characteristic of all politics is but mildly hinted at. However 
decent as individuals men of politics may be: it lies in the 
nature of the profession that politics should be violation, 
seduction, extortion, cheating, deceit, and at best, coldly 
egoistic self-assertion and self-interest. The modern states- 
man who is eternally and undauntedly talking of ideals and 
rights, has not progressed beyond Macchiavelli's Principe, 
he has outdone him. Espionage and counter-espionage, 
provocation, exploitation of other people's weakness, 
Shylock-like insistence on treaties or crafty attempts to set 
them at naught belong to the daily routine of every successful 
foreign policy. As far as this goes I know of no baser profes- 
sion. Its worst aspect is not its patent criminality which only 
occasionally manifests itself; it is the pretence it makes of 
standing for or defending justice and right. Politics are 
always unjust, always morally evil. This is why so many 
criminal characters were great statesmen. The man whose 
nature has no trace of the criminal, will never be successful 



136 FIFTH MEDITATION 

in foreign politics. He must then at least be a lawyer which 
amounts almost to the same thing; for it is the lawyer who 
by the natural bent of his profession takes as Foreign Secre- 
tary the most unscrupulous advantage of the letter which 
favours his case. Some statesmen, the English in particular, 
try to solve this conflict by making a clean distinction be- 
tween their public and private life. But of all foul solutions 
this is the most foul. And things are no better, when reasons 
of State or the advantage of the majority are put forward as 
justifications; for Justice has nothing whatever to do with 
the questions of expediency, unless its idea be given a 
thoroughly shameless interpretation. 

Here, there is but one solution which is not cowardly, 
not unsound, not vile and insincere: to own that politics 
are a thing of the netherworld, just as the functions of 
the bowels belong to the netherworld. And then to make 
what is base and low subservient to what is superior. And 
this not in the sense of Macchiavellism which pretends that 
Evil is good so far as it is useful ; nor in the sense of the 
Jesuit proverb that the end justifies the means. But in the 
sense of a taking-upon-oneself the tragic fate that the nether- 
world intrinsically belongs to man; that nothing can ever 
make it a moral or a spiritual thing. And that what it good 
can be realized on earth only be means of this Evil which for 
ever remains evil. Only the politician who consciously incar- 
nates and represents the netherworld can direct events in 
such a way as to give Spirit an opportunity to work itself 
out. In ordinary circumstances, he alone succeeds in balanc- 
ing the economic forces and interests so that a minimum of 
injustice should result. Where it is a question of enhancing 
the importance of what incarnates greater value, he alone has 
the courage to be as ruthless as the case requires. But, above 
all, only the man of the netherworld has the inward callous- 
ness which makes it possible to a man to commit a crime 
which forestalls greater evil. This applies to preventive war 



FATE 137 

as well as to politicial murder. Only the man of the nether- 
world can succesfully play the part of Fate, for the very 
reason that Fate has nothing to do with Spirit. The con- 
structive significance of crime in history is still immensely 
underrated, despite the object-lessons our generation has 
had the privilege of enjoying for more than ten years. There 
is no nation that has not gained its position of a world power 
by means of infamy. Thus, there can never reasonably be a 
question of changing the character of the netherworld: the 
sole aim can be to make it subservient to Spirit, just as the 
murderer in the person of the executioner serves Justice. 
But this, again, can only succeed where spiritual objects 
have become the motives of the impulses and strivings of the 
netherworld. 

There is but one comforting thought in the midst of all 
this horror : it is the thought that this end can to a certain 
extent be reached. The religious wars illustrate this most 
clearly. Here faith in a Beyond meant the strongest motive 
of all earthly life. This was due not to the idealism of those 
ages, but to the fact that their faith incarnated a greater 
power and a greater interest and therewith offered more 
immediate aims to Original Hunger and Original Fear 
than did material profit. And this is where the efforts of 
modern world reformers mean steps in an absolutely 
positive and right direction. It is imaginable that in the 
process of spiritualization spiritual ideals may acquire such 
predominantly vital significance, that the netherword from 
its own standpoint will conform to them. 

But it is not only the political activity of the peoples that 
must needs take its course according to the laws of the nether- 
world. The same holds true on the same plane of every in- 
dividual. And to that extent all individual destiny, as judged 
from ideal postulates, is tragic. It is impossible to live 
otherwise than at the expense of others; the struggle for 
existence is the primeval phenomenon, and the ways and 



138 FIFTH MEDITATION 

means it employs can never become conformed to Spirit. 
The man who asserts the contrary with regard to himself is 
either too cowardly or too blind to see things in his own 
case as they are. If I am not a vegetarian, it is not because I 
think it true to Spirit to eat animals, but because from the 
standpoint of Spirit it is all the same whether a man live on 
vegetables or meat, or even human flesh, nay the flesh of his 
own parents. And economics no more conform to spiritual 
ideals than do politics. The industrial magnate, the banker 
and the merchant do not commit downright murder; but 
on the whole and indirectly they live more at the expense of 
others, than does the soldier. And since in so doing they 
never risk their own lives, but really spend their days in 
ambush, they are the more base. Now this state of things 
becomes ever more marked, the further the world * pro- 
gresses', because it lies in the momentum of progress to 
bring out in ever sharper outline the individual character 
of every separate activity. Economics which are to-day 
superseding politics as the decisive power,* do indeed tend 
to make the world more rational, but they do not improve 
it morally. No one has ever grown rich without overreaching 
others; without overreaching others it is merely possible 
to earn one's bread; our Middle Ages were right when they 
drew the line of possible honourable money-making here; 
mammon really is 'unrighteous' in is essence. To exploit 
the more ignorant and less capable, be it only by keeping a 
secret close or by guessing a new economic juncture before 
others become aware of it, and to speculate on the rise of 
prices even though everybody starve these are the things 
without which economics as a means of growing rich would 

* I wonder whether many of my readers have noted that the author of 
this book was the first to define this basic character of the world in the making 
in the chapter 'Wirtschaft und Weisheit' of his book Politik, Wirtschaft^ 
Weisheit (written in 1921); also that the chapter 'Privatism' of his America 
Set Free (written in 1928) was the first to differentiate the new spirit of the 
age from all preceding ones? 



FATE 139 

be impossible. But socialism with its hostility to private 
property is unfortunately even less likely to change this 
earth into a heaven. In order to introduce its system, Russia 
had to despoil its own citizens on a larger scale than had 
ever before been the case. Since then it is robbing everyone 
of the possibilities of improving his material status. By 
professing the right of violence, Bolshevism subjects the 
upper world to the laws of the netherworld. And ultimately 
all the mass-movements of post-war days are identical in 
spirit with Bolshevism. They all are anti-individualistic and 
hostile to freedom. The anti-Marxist and nationalistic 
movements are superior to the others inasmuch as they have 
a profounder understanding of Blood and Earth and Fate; 
to that extent they live from out of a deeper sense of Life. 
But even this depth is depth in the direction of what lies 
nethermost. And thus even they inevitably work for the 
netherworld. 

LET us conclude this meditation with a few thoughts 
on the first beginnings of history. Blood and Earth 
decide at bottom over what at the surface unfolds itself as 
the process of history. The possession of land is demanded 
by Original Fear which finds its primary security in posses- 
sion; here all statics of history have their roots. But within 
the boundaries of given nations its dynamics are dependent 
on the degree of the Blood-conflict, and with regard to their 
foreign policy on the power of and the part played by Ori- 
ginal Hunger. If it plays a prominent part, then peoples 
become conquerors. The genuine conquering nations, 
however, always were and even to-day are originally aim- 
less corresponding to the 'muddle through' of the English 
who are primitive even to-day ; it is by muddling through that 
in the long run and without any clear intention they created 
an empire. And in the days of first beginnings this 
was true in the extreme. Accordingly all myths un- 
animously record that history began with adventure and 



HO FIFTH MEDITATION 

the spirit of the adventurer. And the original adventurer 
was not Don Quixote, the prototype of ruling world-ascen- 
dant spirit, who forces his dream upon reality; it was the 
adventurer completely devoid of imagination, devoid even 
of the power of representation, who longs for what is abso- 
lutely unknown, and to that extent desires the Void. What 
we call an adventurer to-day is an extreme case differen- 
tiated into a monstrosity. The modern adventurer is the 
absolutely empty man, whom fate leads on from accident to 
accident from sheer horror vacui. But it does so in vain : he is 
incapable of experiencing anything, to say nothing of trans- 
forming experience into values, for there is nothing in him 
which might be called out. The adventurer as a pioneer of 
history was even blinder; but his blindness belonged to the 
nature of Primordial Life. He was impelled by Original Hun- 
ger which would eat its way through the universe, as the worm 
eats its way through the earth. But the same Original Hun- 
ger is also the original expression of the masculine principle, 
and therewith the germ-cell of freedom. Freedom has its 
roots in the will to risk which, in the course of spiritualiza- 
tion, becomes the vehicle of choice and daring and decision. 
To expose oneself to the accidents of Life is the only thing 
which, in the long run, calls out all inner forces. This still 
holds true even of supremely spiritualized man ; in his case, 
too, it is only when he exposes himself to the accidents of 
Life that the inward melody of his destiny is made to sound. 
But in the beginning of history, there was no idea of fore- 
sight and planning and aims. There, the blindness of Ori- 
ginal Hunger was the original womb of all dynamism. 
Hence the prodigious grandeur of earliest adventures in 
which never repeated deeds of heroism were accomplished; 
such as the first sea-voyages which eventually led to the con- 
quest of the earth. According to Herman Wirth earliest 
Nordic man proceeded from North America, then doubled 
the Cape of Good Hope in a canoe, and thence settled the 



FATE 141 

South Sea Islands. Such prodigious adventures were pos- 
sible, because the power of imagination which engenders 
fear hardly existed and at the same time Original Hunger 
was boundless. Like men drunk or walking in their sleep, 
the first ruler-races conquered the earth. 

Involuntarily the word 'ruler-races' flowed from my pen: 
they were, indeed, originally the sole races which showed 
any initiative; they alone therefore are responsible for the 
great outlines of history. The others in whom the principle 
of Original Fear and therewith of security secured by means 
of property predominated, have remained without a his- 
tory what they originally were, and thus no experience called 
out forces of development within them. Races filled with 
the craving for security can become forces in any way de- 
terminant only on the summits of general attainment. This 
explains the present-day primacy of France. In the begin- 
ning the adventurer alone counted. And long afterwards 
the hero was the prototype of historical man. In those ages 
there was no alternative but this : heroic history no his- 
tory. If the desire of security and therewith of property 
is the mother of all law and order, war is the father not indeed 
Df all things, but of all historic development. Since it means 
effort and struggle to live a historic life, that is, a life cutting 
3ut its own channels and not following the momentum of 
nature, every spiral line seeks to return to the circle, and all 
history to relapse into unhistoric life. New beginnings always 
happened only when the will to risk broke up ancient order 
yrovrn rigid and, in proud certainty of a constructive future, 
owned to the will to destroy. Hence the periodical pheno- 
menon not only of great wars, but also of great revolutions. 



SIXTH MEDITATION 



DEATH 



ON Argentine earth, the teeming blackness of which 
is one single readiness to bury, so that everlastingly 
new life should find the soil on which to grow, I 
called to remembrance one day, while dangerously ill and 
weary of life, what an ageing woman had told me long years 
ago, and what then I had failed to understand: 'I feel like 
a sister of the black earth. Would I might lay me down and 
wait, until I too turn into dark mould/ 

It may have been the horizontal expanse of the Pampa 
which refutes all theory of the earth's rotundity, that roused 
the force of gravity within me to a determinant motive of 
consciousness. I have always been more frequently ill than 
well. Always, I have had to spend whole months of every 
year on my bed. But never before had I felt drawn and 
urged to sink away; never before had I felt it to be a tem- 
porary, a meanly temporary thing that the earth should bear 
me; that I should not be merged in it; that it should persist 
and resist closed beneath me and turn away all longing into 
the empty space of heaven scattered with pale stars. 

I had no thought of suicide. Severe illness of body relieves 
the soul of all will to die. Hence the deep calm it bestows. 
Without aid of consciousness, without haste or turmoil, 
the millions of individual beings which make up the body 
shift in harmony with the rhythm of serious disease as 
swimming filings of iron move towards the magnet and 
turn towards Death; without panic, but self-restrained, 
calmly expectant in the attitude of defence ; not self-denying, 
but taking positive part in the fate of their finiteness, that 
it be fulfilled in its own time; no earlier, no later. Serious 
illness is in so far the onejstate in which there is no fear. It 
may mean agony and torture : nought can mar the sense of 
security within the rhythm of the earth for him, who gives 
himself up to it without reserve. Therefore, the result of its 
K H5 



146 SIXTH MEDITATION 

processes is the will to recovery, not to suicide. Therefore, 
there is but an infinitesimal number of sick who wish to 
die, for the will to die is taken from them. And therewith, 
for a little while, the tension of tensions is solved. Spiritual 
consciousness knows of no natural end. It must be benighted 
in the literal sense of the word, the clock of the Night of 
Creation must beat the measure, if there is to be no conflict 
between the worlds of Body and Spirit. 

I have always felt peculiarly happy in days of sickness. It 
may be, because sleep which is the natural absorption into 
the process of Nature, is vouchsafed to me more rarely 
than to most men. Thus, I stand in need of some other 
shifting of balance, in order to give unto earth what belongs 
to earth, and to take from it what it can give. But never, 
before that Argentine experience, had I known the longing 
for death otherwise than as the desire to interrupt the melody 
I had no wish to continue. I still remember how deeply 
I was affected at the age of twenty, when I heard Wotan's 
cry of longing for The End, which Richard Wagner has 
composed with such wondrous understanding; never since 
has it ceased echoing within me as a basic note of my 
consciousness. As I lay ill in the Argentine, and ever since, 
I am experiencing something seemingly similar in a totally 
different sense. At every moment now, I feel the urge of 
the primordial life within me towards the absolute end. 
But this has nothing whatever to do with my spiritual 
destiny. It is no interruption to it. It is its fulfilment. To 
turn back into earth is the fulfilment of the earth-part 
within me. Since this part of my being has grown into my 
consciousness, I no longer feel the gloom of Wotan deep 
down within me, but the mood in which Bach created that 
incantation of his: 'Sweet Death, come!' And since then I 
understand the meaning of all great hymns. It is true that 
Triumphant church music exists. But it is no more than 
a child of poetic imagination ; it can only exalt, but never 



DEATH 147 

edify. All true hymns are dirges. Hence their deep moll. 
They cause that to sound within man which desires the 
earthly end. And precisely thereby do they bless and 
liberate. 

ALL cult of the Indians was cult of Death, or was death 
and killing. No race of man has ever laid the stress of 
consecrating and sacred experience so strongly upon the 
end, as the Indians. And on death in the sense of a real 
end, not understood as the threshold of a new life. Of reli- 
gions without belief in or idea of a Beyond there are many. 
And methinks: with many of those that proclaim the 
existence of a Beyond of the grave, this only means mistaken 
interpretation. They know not, how else to interpret their 
cult of the end. Indian religion means clearly accepted 
and affirmed tiedness to earth; even where, as with the 
Incas, earth appears drawn into the system of the Sun. 
Accordingly, the Indian's ideal is to live in harmony with 
Earth. Health is the proof that this concordance has been 
achieved. To this harmony also belong right morals. But 
the Indian does not practice morality for utilitarian con- 
siderations, 'that his days may be long upon the land', but 
for the inner urge to move in concord with the rhythm of the 
earth. Therefore, he knows of no will to progress which 
should change the original rhythm. His pathic attitude or 
apathy, his resigned acquiescence and melancholy do not 
mean adaptation of the weak and timorous and unwilling to 
that which is more powerful, it means free and spontaneous 
surrender. Hence the Indian's nobility. Hence also a 
similar attitude towards human sacrifice on the part of 
both the immolator and the victim, as in our more active 
world only the hero in war shows towards death. The blood 
freely spent is fecundating rain. Death such as this is a 
gift of Grace, even as health is gift of Grace. 

Hence the physiological impossibility of all fanaticism. 
But, since this life is entirely determined by its primordial 



148 SIXTH MEDITATION 

forces, there is as little tolerance. Time-honoured tradition 
takes its place. Beyond that, indifference. Externally, this 
leads to the mask of scepticism. If the Indian is not too 
inert to think, he is ironic. Abysmal irony is the outlook of 
the Gaucho, that strange and so beautiful blend between the 
chivalry of Spain and Indian resignation. Of him it is 
said: el gaucho se persigna for las Judas: he makes the sign of 
the cross in order to express his doubts not his belief. 
But, in the last analysis, the basic motive is not irony, which 
is the child of sovereign spirit: it is indifferentism. Every 
peasant shows indifference towards the happenings in the 
world of politics. Even educated people do so with regard 
to the rotation of the earth, or the course held by our planet 
in its mad flight through space. This outlook predominates 
absolutely and in every sense within the inhabitants of the 
continent of the Third Day of Creation. Among the 
caboclos, those inconceivably poor half-caste serfs of the 
Fazendeiros of Brazil, I found cynic philosophers who 
would have been a credit to Greece. Argentine Macana 
crowns ultimate indifference with a disdainful laugh. The 
overtone of Chilian fatalism, that child of a volcanic 
territory, is grim. This indifferentism which is universal 
throughout the South American continent is one of the 
most stupendous phenomena I know of. It does not mean 
lack of interest, nor lack of anything whatever: it means 
blind existence. It implies the primacy of primordial life 
in its impenetrable isolation and seclusion. For a long time, 
I sought for a convincing image which might serve to make 
this incredibly foreign outlook, if not comprehensible, at 
least distinct to the consciousness of a European. At last 
I found such an image in the following fact. In Bolivia 
obituary notices frequently are not printed in the usual 
wording: Mr. X. passed away . . .; the text runs: Fulano 
se quedo indiferente: Mr. X. remained indifferent. There is 
indeed nothing more indifferent than a corpse. 



DEATH 149 

DOUBTLESS, one way of solving all problems is 
neither to feel, nor to recognize their existence, and 
to accept all things, without questioning, as they are. 
During the war, I chanced upon a Russian tale which 
impressed me deeply at the time. The hero of the story was 
a convict sent to Siberia for the term of his life. In a lonely 
and abandoned region he worked a ferry, which but a few 
people used in the course of the year. A young convict was 
ordered to assist him in his task. And when the youth 
expressed his horror at the desolate dreariness of the life 
in store for him, he answered calmly and with a slight under- 
tone of gaiety: *Thou wilt get used to it may God bless 
everyone with such a life.' Is not the greater part of 
woman's wisdom a variation of the one theme: 'There is 
no altering facts'? Childhood can and should be full of bliss 
and happiness. Then must and should follow the dreary 
routine of school cheered with the enjoyment of occasional 
holidays. Highest hopes and expectations are implanted 
into the souls of daughters with regard to future marriage, 
and the mothers honestly share and cherish such anticipa- 
tions. But afterwards they dwell upon the necessity of 
resigning as a matter of course. It is woman's fate. Men 
will be men, and there is no altering them. Such women 
live through, thoroughly and deeply, every illness; they live 
through as thoroughly the feeling of their gradually growing 
useless and becoming an inconvenience. The last stage is 
preparation for death. This, in the best of cases which 
alone I contemplate, is not superficiality, but complete 
identification with the experience of life, such as it is. These 
women have no illusions. They cannot imagine anything 
that is not before their eyes. Every stage on the road of 
life they feel and endure with poignant intensity. They 
invariably experience exactly what actually affects them, and 
they accept all experiences with the same readiness. Their 
attitude is equally positive towards birth and death, joy and 



150 SIXTH MEDITATION 

pain, happiness and affliction, for each and all at one time or 
another fill and pervade their lives. Thus, they can bear to 
witness another's anguish; they enjoy arduous nursing; 
they love to assist at every death agony to which they can 
gain access. Then they mourn with perfect sincerity. But 
their grief has no association with the idea of eternal 
farewell and separation; it is simply a particularly deep 
content of their lives. This also was the state of soul of 
that widow in the New Testament who would not be 
comforted. 

It implies a complete misunderstanding, when all this is 
interpreted in terms of philosophy or religion. What is 
essential is that here motives of the Spirit play no part at 
all; that there is neither imagination nor comprehensive 
vision, and therefore no problematism. It is a drifting along 
from one second to another, entirely exempt from thought 
or reflection, within the momentum and rhythm of pri- 
mordial life. But if consciousness is anchored in the deeps 
of this life; if it faithfully mirrors all its stages, then man, 
despite all lack of problematism, lives a deep and infinitely 
rich life. It is deeper and richer than the life of any man 
endowed with imaginative consciousness, who fails to 
notice all things and to understand them profoundly. For, 
first, the power of imagination tends to make man inwardly 
poor and superficial. Here, Kant's sentences apply, that the 
world is my representation and that intellect imposes on 
nature its own laws. And the inner world of most people 
is poor and trivial, and the connexions the intellect creates 
from out of itself exclude most of the deep and essential 
relationships. Thus, before the immediate consciousness 
of the earthly part of my being awoke within me in the 
Argentine, I should never have experienced the longing to 
return to the earth from which I come. 

Yet what has been said hitherto does not exhaust the 
advantages of an identification with the blind netherworld. 



DEATH 151 

Blindness alone, which identifies itself with the law of earth, 
makes possible a life free from all preconceived ideas and 
open to all experience. The man who has no share in this 
blindness, who does not feel that demands of Spirit fail to 
do justice to the wholeness of life, and that, if life seems 
inadequate, the fault lies not in life itself, but in the incom- 
pleteness of his experience; he who fails, for instance, to 
perceive that sorrow and suffering mean not negative 
influences only, but fulfilments in the sense not merely of 
preliminary stages or stimuli, but in their own right the 
man in so far deprived of all experience of blindness, must 
perforce be moved with the same feeling as Prince Sidd- 
harta, when he saw the first sick. He cannot help endeavour- 
ing to banish death and killing from the world. And since 
this is impossible, he cannot but think life a pure evil, a 
nought-but-suffering: he must needs visualize a Nirvana, 
the cessation of life in any kind of form as the goal, Buddha 
was the profoundest of all revolutionaries. He sought not, 
like all the other founders of religions, to ignore or interpret 
away what is absolute in evil and pain. He was fully cogniz- 
ant of the character of abysmal life. His entire teaching 
rested upon the recognition of the primacy of Original 
Hunger; this is the meaning of the fact to use the happy 
paraphrase formulated by Paul Dahlke that life to him 
was but one single eating and being eaten. But the unique 
sublimity of his teaching lies in this, that it is an expression, 
on the one hand, of pure Original Fear, which in the form 
peculiar to Buddha is the Fear of Suffering, and on the other 
hand, the expression of the overcoming of fear by virtue 
of extreme courage, the courage to be fully awake, to see 
life entirely as it is, in all its horror. Buddha taught and 
undertook no less than this: to destroy the impulse to live 
by means of impulse guided and ruled by Spirit. But if 
Buddha was the profoundest of all revolutionaries, who ever 
assailed and fought existing things, he could not for this 



152 SIXTH MEDITATION 

very reason induce a crisis which should work a fundamental 
change of the world. It is indeed possible to draw Nature 
into the sphere of new connexions from out of Spirit, but 
never to destroy it. Buddha gave the possible solution in 
his personal life, not in his teaching. One can attain to 
such heights of inner superiority as to be able to bear being 
'fully awakened' and to see and accept life such as it is, and 
yet feel the perfect bliss as of angels. But to pluck out the 
abysmal root of this bliss is impossible. 
T^UDDHA'S personal achievement is the grandest in 
JDthe records of history, because of all men he alone 
was perfectly truthful from beginning to end. What is 
amiss with his teaching is due to organically conditioned 
prejudice just as, from the point of view of the horse, it 
means a prejudice to be a cow and to rise above this 
kind of prejudice is beyond the power of man. By far the 
greater number of mortals are unable not-only to be Buddhas 
they can neither live the life of original wisdom of abys- 
mal woman and thus find peace for their souls, because they 
are not blind enough, nor is their spirit capable of the degree 
of awakening needed to create out of itself a connexion 
which would give to life a satisfactory significance. Thus, 
they take refuge in disguise and deception which they 
practise even upon themselves. Their Original Fear gives 
birth to the Original Lie. And the lie transposes experience, 
genuine in itself, into formations which unroot and lift the 
man who identifies himself with them out of the depths of 
earth, but fail to moor him anew in the deeps of under- 
standing spirit. 

The most superficial, and therefore the most typical 
example of this solution is provided by the men of the world 
whose occupation it is to kill time. It is not true that they 
suffer boredom with dignified decorum this was what the 
categorical imperative of the traditional courtier demanded. 
They are not bored at all ; their often admirable art consists in 



DEATH 153 

this, that they exclude from their lives whatever is personal, 
and therewith whatever is capable of vital experience. This 
keeps them incessantly occupied; less than any hard worker 
do they know of real leisure. Now they must play cards, 
now pay visits, anon assist at weddings and funerals, next 
conscientiously undergo a course of medical treatment, or 
else indulge in some sport, or appear courageous according 
to rules in duel or war. The life they lead is actually the 
life of most humans: they centre their consciousness in a 
'Should* which is of spiritual origin and in so far seems to 
bestow a meaning, but which, on the other hand, demands 
no undestanding whatever; for understanding always tends 
to destroy the airy ease of life. Moreover, this enables 
them to conjure away the personal experience of the 
netherworld within them, and yet they move in harmony 
with its rhythm, for their existence is a constant and un- 
problematic acceptance and affirmation of life as it is. 
Custom is an expression of the same original dissimulation 
which is a degree more profound than the one we have just 
explained. Custom divests action and suffering experience 
which touch the vital roots of life, of their problematic 
and personal aspect. It is the custom to eat one's old father. 
It is customary to burn widows. It is a procedure sanctified 
by usage to prostitute one's daughters on the day of a 
particular festival. It is customary for the Inca to wed his 
sister. Propriety demands that on certain occasions hara-kiri 
should be practised. Here, the idea of Sacrifice acts as an 
intermediary between abysmal urge and command of Spirit, 
and neither is really experienced. In the same sense, rites 
absolve from personal experience. Whatever is horrible 
or touches the individual too nearly is kept at a distance by 
being made an integral component of some mind-born 
formation. This was true of human sacrifice in Mexico 
and Peru; it was the case in our European middle ages with 
execution and torture, both of which the spectators would 



154 SIXTH MEDITATION 

not have enjoyed as they actually did, had not the death 
of the criminal meant to them a recognized part of the 
scheme of things, which their imagination visualized as a 
plastic reality. To-day the same applies to burials. In 
hypersensitive Brazil a funeral is actually transformed into 
a pure feast of flowers, where the profusion of colour and 
perfume entirely obliterates and effaces what is ghastly. 
And finally the same is true of weddings; on all sides 
everything is done in order to transpose this stage of life 
on to the plane of some other connexion than the one in 
which is at bottom belongs. According to rule, the bride is 
'radiant'; unconquerable passion for the 'only possible 
woman' was the man's motive, the life in store for the couple 
will, par definition) be pure bliss. The picture of these 
deceptions and dissimulations is completed by the whole 
complex of official positions, dignities and institutions. Each 
and all are children of fear. 'This I decide not as a human 
being, but as a judge,' says the man who pronounces sentence 
of death and therewith deems himself exempt of all personal 
responsibility. Similarly, the commander in war with the 
best conscience in the world gives the order for a general 
massacre; the statesman in all innocence sets all possible 
intrigues and plots for the undoing of a foreign state; and the 
president of a trust ruins the lives of innumerable people 
with the consciousness of rendering selfless service to his 
neighbour. There is nought so rare as a bad conscience 
where it would really be appropriate; therefore, of all states 
of the soul a clear conscience is the most suspect. Infinite 
are the artifices practised by original dissimulation and 
deception for the purpose of transposing or divesting of its 
reality the true character of life. What actually owes its 
origin to primary hunger or blind greed for power appears 
in the guise of love for the people, or of justice, or else of 
sacrifice of personal desire and opinion for duty's sake. 
And conscience becomes of a crystalline purity, as soon as 



DEATH 155 

'sacrifice' has grown habitual, so that the king or judge or 
executioner feel like that Siberian convict who said: 'Thou 
wilt get used to it, God bless everyone with such a life/ 
And everything, absolutely everything, can thus become a 
habit. The Indians of the highlands cannot cast off the 
bondage of their serfdom. Even as they did thousands of 
years ago, they pass backward and forward to-day between 
their homes and the place of their drudgery like mules, 
their bare soles striking the frozen ground with a dull 
patter. Not long ago I met a Russian student not belonging 
to communist circles, but who had no distinct remembrance 
of the days before the October Revolution. He had never 
even become aware of the horrors of Bolshevism. Certainly 
there were executions but old people are apt to die. Life 
is easy for the young. And they are so far more joyous than 
European youth! They have no wants and therefore feel 
no privations and then, what a future is in store for them! 
Ten years before, on my last return from my own country, 
I met on the steamer an Italian boy with his parents who had 
fled haggard, distracted and almost broken-hearted from 
Petersburg. 'Are you looking forward to the life of safety 
in Italy?' He answered: 'I think of it with fear. When in 
Russia the housing commissionary behaved in a threatening 
way, or father was to be sent to prison, I knew what to do, 
but in Italy? . . .' This logic of the primordial impulses 
is the mother of all permanent order. Probably no order 
was ever established without atrocities and horror. And 
every one at some moment grew to be beloved flesh and 
blood. That is, it became rooted in the realm of blindness. 
^ I ^HE medieval church had ritualized all life. The 
JL death of the others constituted a part of every man's 
own life. And no one allowed himself to be despoiled of his 
own death and the pomp and ceremony appertaining to it. 
For all things there existed a dogmatic support which 
represented an absolute safeguard. When this faith was 



ij6 SIXTH MEDITATION 

transplanted among the passive Indians, its full significance 
was revealed. In the Jesuit-state of Paraguay, Indians 
who had been taken to the hospital refused to die unless 
they had got a written licence so to do; after that, all was 
well. Such belief in authority is the most complete conjuring 
away of personal life. He, for whom the decision of another 
man can mean anything in any way final for his own person, 
not only relinquishes his freedom of spirit, he shirks and 
evades his own individual life in general. His existence is 
one completely and perfectly divested of all reality and 
actuality. Christian humanity would be the most super- 
ficial of all, if the reality of its life corresponded to its 
doctrine. What saves and justifies Christianity to a great 
extent is not, that only a very few are capable of bearing 
the burden of ultimate responsibility and personal experi- 
ence and suffering as a last resort, but the circumstance 
that most Christians use it merely as a vessel. Into this 
they pour their own personality which in so far they do live 
out in an individual manner. That is, in reality personal 
faith has the primacy over authority. Nonetheless, wherever 
genuine consciousness of the spirit is not determinant, it 
must be recognized that the heathen Indian is profounder 
than the Christian. For he surrenders completely to the 
abysmal world within himself. He lives more in accordance 
with the motto of Saint Theresa: vivre toute sa vie, aimer 
tout son amour ^ mourir toute sa mort> than any European whose 
centre of consciousness lies in that inbetween-region which 
is determined neither by the netherworld nor by Spirit. 

The South America of to-day is as yet too unfinished and 
immature, too dependent on foreign ideas which it has 
taken over, as to be profound. But irresistibly it is evolving 
in the direction of Indianism. And thus I doubt not that in 
days to come it will create a culture of great depth in the 
sense of nearness to earth. Even that part of South America 
which is of European blood is not Christian in its deeps. It 



DEATH 157 

is determined by primordial life, not by Spirit. It is 
essentially blind. Again and again, it seeks to appear what 
it is not; it cultivates narcistic tendencies; the lie glistens 
and plays on the surface in more changeful hues than any- 
where else. But its world of representations and imagina- 
tions is too indistinct and too weak as that it should be able 
to take the lead. In the last analysis, it is a world of imitation 
as indeed all the inhabitants of South America without an 
exception have been perfect imitators for want of imagina- 
tion. Yet even the actor cannot really live out his personality 
in imitation and reproduction. South America's true life is 
the very opposite of a play: it is nought but darkness of the 
netherworld. No art of life beautifies and adorns its actual 
facts; no genuine faith of the spirit redeems life from 
reality. Thus, the original heaviness of earth completely 
dominates the atmosphere of the continent. South American 
joy is the voluptuousness of the Night of Creation. Its 
suffering is abysmal pain. Its mournful sadness is the fulfil- 
ment of Life's melody in moll. Its death is simple and 
unquestioning homecoming to the womb of Earth. 

To judge this humanity from the Spirit makes it 
impossible to do justice to its character, for its conscious life 
is not rooted in Spirit. But for this very reason it under- 
stands death better than any other humanity on earth. 
Death is no problem of the spirit. Judging from the Spirit, 
death does not exist. It is either the threshold to some other 
spiritual life, or else it means transformation. But this 
recognition robs it of none of its pathos, for it belongs 
altogether to the plane of the netherworld. On this plane, 
death means the most massive of all facts. Here it means 
the extreme expression of possible suffering. It is the 
absolute end of activity. But even killing is originally 
neither a guilty nor an arbitrary act, it is one to which the 
doer must submit. No animal can help being compelled 
to kill in order to live; and no animal lives on anything that 



158 SIXTH MEDITATION 

is not the death of others ; the plant alone is no murderer. 
Thus, the South American judges the act of killing in a 
manner more true to significance than the European; 
indeed, than any humanity in which Spirit predominates. 
In the eyes of the gaucho, the man who kills another, be it in 
open fight or by murder, simply brings trouble upon 
himself. Desgraciarse (to bring trouble upon oneself) means 
'to kill* in the idiom of the gaucho. Manly activity, too, is 
held by these men to be not a capacity, but a compulsion ; 
therefore they think it a misunderstanding that a judge 
should pass sentence. The specific primordial force which 
animates the masculine expresses itself in the form of attack 
and provocation. Nevertheless, from the point of view of 
experiencing man it is a thing to suffer and submit to. Joy 
of fighting exists in no other sense than the bliss of mother- 
hood. Thus, of all the men I know, the gaucho has the 
deepest understanding of death as an earthly phenomenon. 
He boasts of no heroism, no honour, no fame. He is brave 
as a matter of course. He is originally indifferent to himself. 
Thus, he looks upon Death with a melancholy indulgent 
smile, a final desden\ a word which is more expressive 
of pride tinged with resignation than of disdain it has 
something of the same shade of meaning as the French i7 
daigne mourir. After all, the men are there to shed their 
blood and fertilize the earth. Thus, in the course of the 
Conquista, whole tribes of Indians, when they had had 
enough of suffering, with modest pride committed suicide. 



SEVENTH MEDITATION 



G ANA 



IN the Argentine I met the first humans in whose case 
I had to admit that they could not do as they wished. 
Among them were beings of magnificent spontaneity; 
at first sight they appeared to be strong of will and gifted 
with a high degree of imagination. But soon I found that 
appearances were deceitful. They improvised without a 
preconceived mental image of their actions; they could only 
do what they must. And their faculty of volition hardly 
went beyond that primary nay-saying to which even the 
water-lily gives expression when it repulses a foreign body. 
The meaning of the essential difference between this modality 
of life and that which before I had deemed the only possible 
form for man, became clear to me, when a friend told me the 
following story. She was playing tennis in the country in 
the neighbourhood of Argentine Cordoba and offered a 
child a peso an hour, if it would pick up the balls. It 
shook its head mournfully: no puedo (I cannot). Why not? 
Porqui no me da la gana (Gana does not urge me to do so). 
This Gana does not mean inclination for something, 
which always is subjected to a will-decision based on under- 
standing; nor is it Spanish Gana, which also essentially 
is not will : it is unconscious elementary force which urges 
from within, and over which consciousness has no control. 
Even the Spanish idea of Gana does not apply to any content 
of intellectualized European consciousness. It is neither 
will nor impulse nor urge nor yet an inward ' Must* as we 
understand these words ; it is the elementary linking together 
of mental image and blind organic urge. It includes the 
element of imagination which in the case of so-called will is 
the real creative element; therefore one should not say: 
'What you will, you can do', but 'Imagination creates 
Reality'. But, on the other hand, it lacks that element of 
L 161 



i62 SEVENTH MEDITATION 

real will which draws lines, sets limits and by means of this 
negative quality guides and directs. In the economy of the 
Spaniard's soul the function he calls Gana plays the part 
played by Will in the case of the Anglo-Saxon. This is 
why the Spaniard hardly ever uses the term voluntad: 
actually he never 'wills' in our sense of the word. If mental 
image and spontaneous impulse meet, prodigious dynamic 
energy manifests itself. Otherwise the Spaniard lets things 
drift; he lets himself and others live in the way that comes 
naturally to them; he enjoys events as a spectator and refuses 
to allow himself to be tied down to or by anything. If he 
makes a promise, he assumes that his partner will have 
sufficient tact as not to insist under all circumstances on 
his keeping it. Furthermore, the rule of Gana in the 
place of will results in this : that in Spain initiative either 
proceeds from the whole personality, or is entirely lacking. 
Hence those alternatives of fervent faith or indifference, 
kazana, adventurous prowess, or passivity. That, on the 
other hand, Spain should have produced the man who of all 
men valued will most highly and knew its technique best, 
Ignatius of Loyola, is in accordance with that law of Nature 
that every nation out of itself projects its counter-type. 

South American Gana is what the vision of the Second 
Meditation expresses in the form of an image; as indeed 
the latter in my dream bore the name of Gana. Gana is 
what our earlier meditations called Primordial Life and 
Netherworld and Blind Urge, as opposed to a life deter- 
mined or co-determined by Spirit. Especially in my 
meditations on War and Fate and Death, I should have 
liked to use the concept of Gana; but it was impossible 
before I had given a definition of its particular bearing on 
the case of man; and this definition can only be given in 
this context. It is the strongest of all that is strong, and the 
weakest of all that is weak at the same time ; it is primordial 
puissance and helplessness in one. It lacks all element of 



CAN A 163 

imagination. Thus, Gana is essentially aimless and purpose- 
less. But for this very reason it forces and binds like the 
force of gravity. No sooner had I reached Buenos Aires 
than I felt bound in a mysterious manner. Somehow, 
whatever I did or wished to do others decided over me. 
I might indeed have broken away; however, I felt that only 
if I let others dispose of me, could I work at all. But 
neither did any of those who thus ruled me, decide for 
themselves: what ultimately decided was an inarticulate 
anonymous power. It was not public opinion; it was a 
thing not only nameless, but unnamable; a thing on the 
near side of any possible conscious shaping. Soon I became 
aware of other things which helped me to find the further 
co-ordinates required for the determination of the unknown 
point. It proved impossible not to receive visitors on the 
spot, when they surprised me without previous announce- 
ment and often at unearthly hours. No one with any know- 
ledge of the country dared refuse to receive a visitor an 
old Argentine gentleman holding a prominent position 
to whom the card of a young Nobody was brought in the 
course of an official lunch, rose at once explaining as he 
went: 'if I refuse to see him, he will become my enemy and 
get me into trouble.' In the Argentine nobody can wait 
when he has some particular desire. But, on the other hand, 
every abstract idea of time is lacking; things always are 
postponed to another day, unless an overpowering urge 
demands that they should be done at once. There is no 
planning, nor keeping to plans. Inversely, my wish to plan 
and arrange was considered sacrilegious; it was thought an 
anticipation of Fate; as indeed few Argentines dare name 
the steamer on which they contemplate taking passage. 
At first I did not succeed in making arrangements even 
for the next twenty-four hours; I was never told before 
the day itself where I should dine. But soon I understood. 
The visitors I could not refuse to see, followed an organic 



164 SEVENTH MEDITATION 

urge which completely mastered them to fail to satisfy 
it would have been equivalent to murder; this certainly 
explained violent reactions. South American Gana is 
intrinsically blind urge to which the mere idea of fore- 
thought must mean an offence, since it implies a denial of 
its very essence. Its centre lies beyond the pale of mastering 
consciousness. But as a blind urge it has a compelling 
power which man of these latitudes can not resist. 

This blind urge is the firstborn of the forces of the 
Night of Creation. It is the intrinsic force of blind Life. 
Only from out of the personal knowledge of passion in all 
the wide and profound sense of its German equivalent 
Leidenschaft can the European experience it in imagination. 
To the essence of passion also belongs blindness; for the 
man who has eyes to see looks beyond it. Where passion 
does not fill the entire consciousness, so that the light of 
vision is not totally extinguished, it transforms all external 
impressions and experience in accordance with the intrinsic 
meaning of its own essence; hence that narrowing down of 
consciousness which notices nothing that is not connected 
with the object of its passion; hence the rose-coloured 
spectacles of the lover ; hence the dark spectacles of the man 
or woman who hates. For him who has become the slave of 
a passion, it is impossible to see its object in its true light; 
he only believes what accords with his feelings. All those 
constructions which psycho-analysis succeeds in removing 
by the simple means of exposing to view their instinctive 
basis, belong here. But there is nothing to be gained by 
interpreting what is elementary from the basis of differenti- 
ated phenomena. Once I wrote that the specific fears of 
the animals are identical with the complexes of humans. 
This was true ; only I should have defined the facts from the 
opposite side. The fixation, the inward isolation and 
exclusiveness of the Gana-melody is the primary pheno- 
menon in all cases ; it mirrors on a higher plane the immut- 



GANA 165 

ability of the reflex curve. Man alone, among all the 
creatures we know of, is capable of loosening those fixations 
and liberating himself by means of spiritual initiative. I 
used the word Gana-melody : as a matter of fact, the image of 
melody as an isolated unit of time actually does full justice 
to Life on the plane of Gana; more so than on the planes 
on which Spirit is co-determinant; for the illumining and 
discerning quality of Spirit which creates continuity, 
therewith destroys finiteness understood as a last resort. 
Gana-life is the co-existence in the dimensions of simul- 
taneity and succession of monads without windows. It is 
as essentially discontinuous, as imaginative Life, that is life 
ruled by Spirit, is continuous. And in the beginning was 
not the image, but blind urge. The specific nature of this 
primary psychism corresponds exactly .to that of the 
physical organs and functions: of these, too, each represents 
an isolated and articulate unit of space and time, and blurr- 
ings of the boundary-lines and confusions of the functions 
never occur. A whole does indeed guide and direct from 
within the growth and decay of the parts, but the latter 
have no share in the comprehensive vision of the former. 
For although they themselves are melodies, they stand to 
the melody of a higher order represented by the total 
organism in the same relationship, as the single note, which 
suddenly sounds and dies away without leaving a trace, to 
the symphony. 

Thus, abysmal Life may be called a connexion of what is 
disconnected. Every separate manifestation is isolated and 
finite. Each one 'desires' only to finish the melody it 
incarnates. It is precisely this that my first Argentine 
experiences illustrate. That an urge should not be satisfied ; 
that a visit should not be received, or an expectation dis- 
appointed, is, from the view-point of Gana, an attack upon 
life; for if Gana is the last resort, then disappointment 
literally amounts to a capital execution: a particular life- 



166 SEVENTH MEDITATION 

form is doomed to die. This explains the course of many 
love-affairs. Every love which is deep in the direction of the 
netherworld, is an exclusive life-form. It may grow in the 
face of resistance, it may hold its own against the most 
convincing arguments : if it is really disappointed, or if it is 
played out, it is at an end. If women and men whose love 
has died are hard and cruel towards its former object, 
and ignore his claims on their interest and regard with a 
contempt, as though they were rubbish, this is true to sense : 
if a person existed for another only by virtue of his love, 
he dies with its death. And primary instinct feels it to be 
revolting and absurd that a corpse should claim human 
consideration. 

Gana, on the one hand, is an isolated system in each 
separate case and, on the other, it is blind. The meaning of 
this connexion is best made clear by the relationship between 
feminine and masculine love. Primordial -woman is almost 
purely a creature of Gana. Intrinsically passive, she must be 
seduced or won. But if this is achieved, she becomes the 
slave of her love. Her love becomes her life. But this love 
is something definite and particular in each separate case; 
it is a particular and unique melody excluding all others; no 
intermediate notes connect it with others; the phenomenon 
is akin to that of the medium who is en rapport with one 
person only. This is why the mere idea of loving another 
appears monstrous and loathsome to the enthralled woman. 
This is the meaning of woman's so-called originally mono- 
gamous nature. Woman is not originally monogamous 
at all in the moral sense; for every determinate melody is 
finite ; it can be brought to an end ; and if this is the case, 
woman feels entirely free. She forgets. On the one hand, 
she must forget, in order to be able to love again ; for the 
exclusiveness of each Gana-melody suffers no other melody 
to sound with or beside it. But on the other hand, she 
succeeds in detaching herself from the past to a degree 



CAN A 167 

few men can understand. Thus, frequently, in wild times 
the ravished woman became as passionately attached to 
the murderer of her passionately loved husband. 

Herewith we arrive at the opposite of determination by 
blind Gana. As soon as imagination comes into play, or 
decides, there is no exclusiveness, for all images are inter- 
connected. The more so, as imagination does not know of 
those differences in kind by virtue of which one emotion 
excludes the existence of others at the same moment. Now, 
since man is the original bearer of the quality of imagination, 
he is polygamous in the absolute sense. He is incapable 
of forgetting; involuntarily all his loves co-exist in his 
imagination, so that he does not feel guilty of infidelity, 
when he actually is unfaithful; for from the viewpoint of 
blind Gana he always is. Man absolute is as originally 
'seeing' as woman absolute is originally 'blind.' This is 
why he is the original bearer of Spirit; this is why the word 
'history' is instinctively understood by each and all to be 
man's history. This is why man never feels that his own 
thraldom to a woman, even where he is utterly unable to 
extricate himself, is his own last resort. Blind Gana cannot 
look beyond itself. And the more a person is ruled by Gana, 
the smaller the part imagination plays within him. Hence 
the inquisitiveness and curiosity of absolute woman: 
incapable of imagining, she must see, if possible, touch. 
Of course, what has been said applies only to pure pri- 
mordial types; woman absolute is as rare as man absolute. 
A differentiated woman is capable of so many kinds of 
feelings and emotions, that she can love many men at a 
time; but in different ways that is, she loves each man in 
his own way a fact which tends to obscure the clarity of 
the picture. And if she be permeated by Spirit and she 
generally is to a considerable degree in the modern West 
she acquires a psychology akin to that of man. However, 
here we deal solely with what is primordial and essential. 



168 SEVENTH MEDITATION 

Do not the above trends of thought hold the key to the 
problem of all typical conflicts between man and woman? 
Since woman as a creature of Gana and every profound 
love carries her back into the Gana-sphere, even where 
otherwise she does not seem to belong there is blind, she 
cannot but feel man's large-heartedness as real or potential 
treachery; even the devotion of the artist to his work strikes 
her as treachery, and she appreciates outside professional 
activity only, because age-old racial experience has pre- 
formed within her the knowledge that such activity is 
necessary as a means of securing her own security. Inversely, 
where man decides, he cannot help establishing a double 
standard, in order to create a tolerable state of balance. 
But the problem is further complicated by the fact that 
man is also a creature of Gana, only in a rudimentary, 
simplified form, and as such inferior to woman. Thus, 
where man is enthralled, he accepts for himself with a 
complete lack of understanding the feminine standard 
and incarnates it in foolishly rigid laws ; a thing real women 
never do, because they live and experience Gana with under- 
standing, and therefore harmonize the rule and the excep- 
tion in their true mobile relationship from one situation to 
another. Hence that feeling of inferiority and bad con- 
science every man who loves experiences with regard to the 
passionately and deeply loved woman, whom his Uncon- 
scious sublimates quite irrationally into a spiritual ideal. 
No woman idealizes in so irrational a manner: more often 
than not she merely expresses in the imperfectly acquired 
language of man that she loves her beloved with all his 
faults and would not have him different for worlds, because 
every change would annul the beloved identity. Hence the 
tendency of man, wherever he is the master, to inflict 
barbaric punishments on an unfaithful wife. The whole 
of man's idea of ownership is an intellectual superstructure 
of this kind born of misunderstanding. Woman must 



GANA 169 

and should desire to possess. Firstly, the possessive instinct 
is primary with her; and moreover she feels one with the 
beloved and must therefore desire to possess him exactly 
as she possesses herself. One should realize how keenly 
woman feels her body as 'herself, a thing which applies to no 
spiritually awakened man: thus, she must feel that every 
slightest gesture of the beloved is legitimately hers. And 
nota bent i the will to possess is decisive with woman, not the 
will to be possessed. The latter stands and falls with the 
urge to physical surrender, which is always intermittent and 
finite, whereas the will to possess rules uninterrupted and 
absolute. Man as a Gana-creature can only feel possessed, 
he lacks the original possessive instinct. What with him 
seems to be will to possession, is really will to power. Only 
on the latter can he base the former, never on his love 
and the will to power has no primacy in the erotic sphere. 
Accordingly, man has always from time immemorial lived 
out his pure eroticism, wherever he could, with courtesans 
and paramours; that is, with women he knew he did not 
possess exclusively. That will to power and not love is the soul 
of man's will to possess this is what again and again incites 
the most monogamous women to commit adultery. Seldom 
does woman's adultery originate in love; more often than 
not it is born of the desire for independence or retribution. 
If now we consider the problems in question from a 
higher vantage, it should become finally clear that in the 
beginning was woman, not man : on the one hand, Gana is 
the original form of all vital urge, on the other, it is woman's 
primordial characteristic. Certainly, Gana also lives in 
every man, only in a form specialized on the one hand, and 
on the other, latent or rudimentary. Of specifically masculine 
Gana we shall treat later on. Only this much may be said 
here : man is completely unreal where he lives himself out 
in woman's ways. Hence the ludicrous aspect of the man 
who is nothing but the 'father of a family'. If it is customary 



lyo SEVENTH MEDITATION 

to smile at the henpecked man and every man is hen- 
pecked in his relation to the woman he really loves this 
is a diversion from the main point from subconscious tact, 
just as it was prescribed in the house of a great-uncle of 
mine to say tambour instead of amour in the presence of 
young girls. Hence the pathological quality of the Don 
Juan. When first I talked about this type in Spain and at 
the same time saw his classic portrait in the Museo del 
Prado of Madrid, it struck me that everywhere in Spain, as 
opposed to Europe, Don Juan was conceived and repre- 
sented as effeminate. The consciousness of the Spaniard 
still mirrors primarily experienced and intellectually 
accepted Gana: therefore, instinct tells him what no modern 
Englishman or Frenchman knows. If a man can forget 
one woman after another; if he can experience something 
unique with every new love, he is womanish. This should 
not be confounded with the truly virile type of the con- 
queror, to whom lasting possession means nothing either. 
The genuine conqueror is the very opposite of the Don 
Juan : he is no slave to Gana; from incarnation to incarnation 
he pursues a soul-born image, and it is from loyalty to this 
image that he is continually unfaithful to live women. 
Whereas the type of the Don Juan is a normal phenomenon 
among women. Wherever her sexual instinct or her 
eroticism develop into independent forces, it lies in her, 
again and again, to become enthralled 'without engagement/ 
as it were. Here an unbroken line leads from the grande 
amoureuse and the type of which Goethe says : 

Fraun, gewohnt an Mannerliebe> 

Sind nicht Wdhlerinnen^ sondern Kennerinnen. 

(Women used to love of man are not fastidious, 

they are connoisseurs.) 

down to the courtesan. For it is very seldom that the latter 
does not go about her business whole-heartedly. She is 
merely characterized by an abnormal state of detachment 



GANA 171 

relatively to her body and by a possessive instinct specialized 
on money. The bad reputation of the courtesan is quite 
unmerited. The greater number of them are not at all 
criminal, they are kindly and altruistic. They are not 
averse to work like all real criminals; they are exceedingly 
conscientious and persevering in their work. Their venality 
is merely a specific expression of the typically feminine and 
absolutely legitimate claim to be kept. And a far greater 
number than is generally assumed finds its way back to 
respectable life. Many sterling hostesses of public houses, 
especially in the south of France, earned their working 
capital by means of venal love. And one should not forget 
those daughters of Japanese samurais, who not so long ago 
entered brothels for a short time, in order to enable their 
brothers to serve in a good regiment . . . 

But the courtesan does not indeed incarnate a type which 
woman creates from out of the laws ruling her own being; 
this explains the peculiar lack of understanding other women 
show for this variety of their sex. The courtesan is the woman 
whose qualities are best adapted to the desires of the man who 
refuses to be bound, and to that extent she is untrue to her 
womanhood. For primordial woman desires above all to 
bind. She desires to make man as unfree as she herself is. 
It is true that man, too, wishes to bring woman to the 
point, where she cannot help belonging to him in love. But 
woman is only too willing to do so. All she waits for is to be 
conquered, and she resents as an offence, when her suitor 
fails in the attempt. Woman is so entirely and completely a 
creature of Gana, that thraldom for her means no inner 
conflict, so that in belonging to a man she asserts herself 
the more powerfully and, on the other hand, can without 
ado detach herself, as soon as the melody of her love is 
played out. With man it is different. He loses himself by 
becoming the slave of a woman, for his specific form of life 
is not ruled by Gana, whose laws he does not know by 



172 SEVENTH MEDITATION 

instinct. Thraldom generally sweeps him off his feet. And 
only in the light of man's specific nature does it become 
apparent in what respect Gana is a thing profounder in the 
direction of what lies nethermost, than are the feelings and 
emotions of the soul; for in man's consciousness there 
exists no normal connexion between Gana, feeling and 
emotions. Thraldom with him essentially is not what he 
imagines love to be. This is so for this reason, among 
others, that thraldom is not connected in any way with 
imagination. It is never an Imago, it is never an Anima 
which binds insolubly. In becoming the slave of a woman, 
man grows so blind, conformably with the specific character 
of Gana, that it is doubtful whether such serfdom has any- 
thing at all to do with the idea of a psychical relationship. 
The relationship is pre-psychical ; it may even be called 
pre-physical ; it is a primordial relation on the plane of the 
Third Day of Creation, compared with which even the 
navel-string which on ancient African rock-pictures rivets 
the roving son to the far-away mother, is but a superficializ- 
ing image. Men of such binding power are rare. Not only 
because with man imagination is the primary phenomenon 
which conditions a lack of connexion with Reality; but 
because instinctively he desires to conquer, not to possess. 
This is why the men whose success in seducing is surest 
and quickest, are those who bind the least enduringly. 
Indeed, there is nothing they dread more. 

But the woman whose Gana has the power of casting a 
spell, binds absolutely and irretrievably. The woman gifted 
with this power is the Woman of the Earth. She is seldom 
intellectually brilliant; her soul is mute. Hers is a feminity 
passive and brooding to the point of rigidity; a womanliness 
whose roots reach down to greater depths than sensuality or 
motherliness. Almost without doing anything, she draws 
man irresistibly down into the netherworld. She is that 
"dewy wom&v of whom Goethe sang : 



GANA 173 

Halb zog sie ihn, 

Halb sank er hin. 

(Half drawn by her, 

half yielding did he sink.) 

And this woman primordially puissante (Walter Pater), 
thisfemmefata/e, generally casts her spells from no desire of 
her own; her most conspicuous attractiveness very often 
lies in this, that she suffers from her seductive power. She 
feels it as a thing alien to her Self; she longs to be released 
from her enthralling charm, and instead of ruling, she would 
fain serve. Thus, the femme fatale endowed with spiritual 
gifts almost always is a Kundry. But this attitude merely 
enhances her power to enthral; for thereby she stimulates 
man's imagination. Just as every woman desires to have 
a redeeming influence, man too would be a redeemer. But 
the most irresistible, the ultimately victorious spell lies at 
the very depths which make the sufferings of Kundry. It 
lies below the region of possible imagination, of possible 
images ; below the domain of the Eros of the soul ; nay it 
lies below sex. It lies in the netherworld of the Third Day 
of Creation, where the livid snakes, permeable to darkness, 
with their basilisk eyes, writhe in an everlasting circle, 
insolubly enmeshed and diffluent. If men fall a prey to this 
force, it is a thing more abysmal than all love and all desire. 
There sets in a dependence as absolute and inextricable 
in the direction of what lies nethermost as that which the 
religious Mohammedan feels as Islam in the direction of the 
Highest, of God. That here something different from love 
comes into play, is sufficiently proven by the weird imperson^ 
ality of such a tie. To that extent it is the real 
genuine Passion in the Spanish sense, which 
belonging, body and soul, to one particular wfc'gxaji^But as 
a personality; a belonging which sublimates 
as body and soul fuse and every atom serve %fc . 
ation. This impersonal quality alone suffif[e\o expl 




174 SEVENTH MEDITATION 

the horror of thraldom. It is the impersonal quality of the 
creatures of the Night of Creation, for which killing and 
being killed, eating and being eaten are one. This is why 
thraldom always is mirrored in consciousness simultaneously 
as love and as hate. It engenders extravagant jealousy; 
for the exclusiveness of Gana demands absolute and despotic 
rule. The war against inner fettering which every man 
enthralled wages unconsciously, begets cruelty. All too 
easily, almost joyfully it merges into murder. These 
manifestations of the man enthralled mean something 
entirely different from the manifestations of the enslaved 
woman which are outwardly the same. For woman, 
thraldom means 'home,' the surrounding natural to her. 
She desires to be bound, desires to suffer. If she believes 
in her beloved in the face of all facts and evidence, this means 
not infatuation, nor delusion it is thus that her original 
woman's nature expands 'in all its wealth of bloom. How- 
ever much she may suffer from jealousy: it is in accordance 
with her Gana-being that she be jealous; and to that extent 
she would rather suffer than feel her life to be void. Her 
cruelty never means more than lover's play; with her, 
murder and suicide never mean more than passing moods. 
This is why no reasonable court of justice condemns a 
woman who committed a crime passionel. Tragic conflict 
sets in with the enthralled woman only when she becomes 
the slave of what is spiritual. For man, the laws of whose 
being belong altogether to the upper word, thraldom always 
means a fall. This is why women instinctively despise the 
man who could become their slave, and prefer even the 
the most faithless and cruel man to him. 

And yet, here as everywhere, that which is originally 
evil is the foundation of all that is good and beautiful. It is 
only the woman to whom man can become a slave that 
inspires him, for she alone sets free his primordial forces. 
And all earthly creation as a thing of shape and form is 



GANA ' 175 

born of earth. It will remain the eternal tragedy of the all- 
too-spiritual woman that precisely she can be neither muse 
nor sybil. It is true that the sybil and the muse never belongs 
to the type of the brutal Earth-woman. But woman of the 
Earth she must be, through and through. Only from the 
earth can she stimulate to activity man's creativeness; this 
is why the question of possession or non-possession in the 
case of love-relations uniting the artist and his muse always 
played a decisive part. Thus, too, all woman-prophetesses 
were in their essence women of the Earth. As beings of the 
earth they knew of the future ; they knew of that Fate which 
is not metaphysical. Thus it is no wonder that the supreme 
figures of the genuine femmefatale were produced by unin- 
tellectual nations. The type of Carmen is specifically 
Spanish. I could easily imagine that in days to come in 
South America puissant figures of this kind might be born ; 
for South America is the Gana-continent par excellence. 
Already there are heralds of such an event. Josd Ortega y 
Gasset affirms that in the days of the French Revolution 
Paris was actually ruled by a small number of Creole 
women. In the case of Josephine at any rate this is true. 
She was entirely unspiritual. But Napoleon was enthralled 
by her. And it was this that made him capable of achieving 
his prodigious work. With that supreme clear-sightedness 
which characterized him, he took heed not to tear himself 
away from her ; consciously he overlooked her ever-recurring 
Helena-failings and the constant harassment of his feelings. 
He knew that his boundless freedom of spirit required as a 
completion to be bound to the absolutely unfree; that his 
active nature needed the tie of the absolutely inert; and 
similarly his logic necessitated her waywardness, and his 
self-mastery her lack of discipline. Man is not meant to 
be free 'only'; and the profounder he is, the less does he 
desire such freedom, The freer he is as a spirit, the more 
does he, on the other hand, need to be bound to earth. Thus, 



176 SEVENTH MEDITATION 

Day ultimately has no wish to overcome Night. It is not 
true that Zeus sent the Titans into Tartaros, where their 
call no longer is heard. Nothing can be more natural than 
that spiritual religions, new-born and therefore light of heart, 
should invent such false myths. Just as the Greeks recog- 
nized only Beauty as a reality, even so Jesus taught celestial 
as opposed to earthly love. Not the Virgin Mary, but Mary 
Magdalene is the central figure of Christianity. Thus 
Brahmanism taught its disciples to overcome Gana through 
renunciation; and Buddha's teaching was to analyse away 
all earthly bondage to the end of loosening all ties so 
completely that ultimately nothing is left. But here on earth 
the dark and evil netherworld is and remains the womb of 
every possible World of Light. And therefore withdrawal 
from the world here on earth always is, among other 
things, an expression of Original Fear. This is why the 
glorification of the weak as opposed to the strong always 
has one of its roots in resentment, and accordingly in abysmal 
Evil. And the longing for immortality is born also of an 
Original Hunger more insatiable, than ever animated the 
Spaniard's greed. 

GANA is blind. It lives itself out in discontinuous 
and exclusive formations. It acts uniformly and 
according to routine, as is the case with all expressions of 
life not ruled by Spirit. Nevertheless, it is thoroughly 
unreliable. The reason is that every organic process is like 
a melody, everyone of which runs contrary to all good faith, 
judged from the view-point of the lawyer, inasmuch as each 
process only fulfils what lies within the range of its finite 
meaning. Another reason lies in Gana's dependence on 
external influences; mineral bases, too, cannot be trusted, 
inasmuch as they are transmuted by acids; yet in so doing 
they follow laws they never violate. Thus, psycho-analysts 
again and again marvel at the certainty with which the 
reactions of the Unconscious to the same stimuli can be 



GANA 177 

foreseen, and the uniformity of the course these reactions 
take. Similarly, there are absolutely unerring technicians 
of seduction. But we must now consider a further funda- 
mental quality of Life ruled by Gana. Its essence is inertia. 
It is devoid of initiative, passive or yielding, reacting, 
never acting autonomously. For this I know of no better 
illustration than that of the lad in Cordoba who simply 
could not do a little thing for whatever money, porquS no le 
daba la gana. It is on this determination by Gana that rests 
the notorious passivity of the South Americans. On the 
strength of this Carlos Octavio Bunge has proclaimed 
pereza, laziness, as the national characteristic.* But the 
South Americans are not really lazy. No man achieves 
greater prodigies of strenuous labour than the Gaucho. 
For days and nights, without rest, amid the extremes of 
hardship, in peril of life, he seeks and drives together 
his storm-scattered cattle. None is more industrious within 
the frame of his accustomed work, than the Indian of the 
High Tablelands. If the dweller of the tropics does not 
work much, this is due to the climate as well as to the fact 
that it is unnecessary to work much there, if the demands 
made on life are adapted to climatic conditions. For the 
rest, in South America that ancient tradition survives, 
according to which otium cum dignitate is superior to drudg- 
ery. Owing to this, there are, of course, more idlers pure 
and simple among the well-to-do people than elsewhere. 
Nevertheless, there can be no idea of laziness being a 
national characteristic. 

But the South American undoubtedly is passive. He 
suffers his life. It is a continuous yielding to what urges 
him from within, whereas he does not allow outward influ- 
ences to take a strong hold upon him. It is the same 
modality of life as that of the courted woman who resists 
as long as she is not compelled to yield, but who then follows 
* Sec his book Nucstra America counted a classic in South America. 

M 



178 SEVENTH MEDITATION 

her inward impulse with enthusiasm. It is a life of complete 
self-indulgence, lack of discipline, lack of all initiative or 
forethought, and accordingly of all consistency. All 
activity in South America is the result of a yielding to inner 
urge. To that extent advance, too, really is retreat. The 
significance of this fact first struck me when an Argentine, 
well-known for his intelligence, told me: 'We are an 
imperialistic nation/ When I asked him whether they 
intended to conquer the whole of South America, he 
answered with some surprise: 'Certainly not; but we have, 
for instance, withdrawn from the League of Nations.' 
Retreat as a manifestation of initiative . . . Undoubtedly, 
retreat is the latter's earliest expression. Long before the 
first Yea, there were already innumerable Nays. The greater 
part of historic change owes its origin to mere Nay-saying 
to the existing state of things; for the power of imagination 
needful for a Yea with regard to what is new is lacking; 
in the best of cases, improvement or progress mechanically 
results from the fact that the Unconscious is influenced by 
the Spirit of the Age and changes in correlation with it. 
But previous to any Nay, there was impenetrable silence. 
To displeasing remarks or proposals the South American 
is apt to answer: 'to this I make no reply.' And if will sets 
in, its typical manifestation is like that of the armadillo 
which rolls itself up. I know of a woman who could find it 
in her heart to live for ten years with a man she did not love 
without even once addressing a word to him. She could not 
summon sufficient initiative to leave him, but she had the 
courage to treat him with the extreme of passive hardness. 
This sway of Gana is the cause of that immense, as it were, 
suspended monotony of the psychic atmosphere of South 
America. The trend of a life entirely ruled by Gana, which 
no spiritual impulse again and again forces out of, or turns 
off its original beaten track, must needs be monotonous. 
It is, as it were, an epopee devoid of events. In the Argentine 



CAN A 179 

this manifests itself with a certain grandeur, because there 
the changeless infinity of the Pampa and the shoreless and 
mouthless Rio de la Plata, sluggishly rolling along its waters 
burdened with red sand, correspond to the state of these 
souls. Never did I see women of such inner lentor and 
heaviness, of like tiedness to all that belonged to them; 
owing to the contrast to their outward quickness this 
impressed me as almost uncanny. This monotony is inter- 
rupted by new Gana-melodies which gush forth like well- 
springs. But they never work any real change; for whatever 
of novelty is added, soon falls into the old broad channel, 
deeply cut into the soil. On the other hand, the monotony, 
again and again, is broken by sudden explosions of banked- 
up energy; at one moment they are revolutions, at another 
enthusiasms. But since in this case the explosions are 
essentially blind, no progress is achieved. The spectacle 
of South American enthusiasms, in particular, always 
evoked in me the image of the lasso which, if it is thrown 
out and misses its mark, instantly drops back flat on to the 
earth. 

This is what a life ruled by Gana is like, as opposed to a 
world in which Spirit decides. This is Primordial Life. It 
is not permeated with soul, not fired with divine enthusiasm; 
it is blind and dumb. It is a blind side-by-side of exclusive 
life-melodies, which awake when the moment of their 
birth draws near, and close abruptly, barren and faithless, 
when the tune comes to an end. The resultant is a broad, 
monotonously flowing river, to which the incidental 
revolutions and explosions stand in the relationship of 
wavelets and eddies. This life has no direction of its own, 
but it has a momentum. No wonder that, mirrored in 
understanding consciousness, it calls out abysmal melan- 
choly and abysmal scepticism. Nothing new ever happens. 
Nothing matters. There is no relying on anything. No 
effort is of any avail. When once I spoke of the fateful 



i8o SEVENTH MEDITATION 

character of all love-relations, an Argentine lady said with 
surprise: 'But is not the ultimate cause of all things chance 
and accident?' It is indeed, if no connexion is visualized 
or experienced; a thing which is possible only to spiritual 
consciousness. And all sense-connexions do indeed crumble 
into a simultaneity and succession of chance-occurrences, 
unless one keep hold of their significance. Thus also good 
faith cannot really exist, for all ties are dismissed by for- 
getting. 

Yet hence also the wealth of nuances in South American 
suffering experience ; it is a child of monotony in the same 
sense, as the great landscape-painting of Europe is the 
child of Holland's deficiency in the picturesque. And 
hence the musical gifts of the South Americans. Their 
root is the desire to transpose an inner life which is inac- 
cessible to consciousness, into a sphere in which the same 
infinity of the total stream of life and the same finiteness 
of each separate form may be experienced as bliss and joy. 
Here, the Argentine is akin to the Russian. Otherwise 
these nations have nothing in common. But the Argentine, 
too, knows of that fathomless melancholy the Russian calls 
Unynie. His most characteristic national songs, too, are 
endless and monotonous. And, above all, the music of 
both nations is essentially polyphonous. Wherever 
harmony means more than melody, the significance of 
such music lies in a suspended lingering of the soul's 
emotions in all their multiplicity. There, harmonization 
means bliss and redemption, because it transposes chaos 
into cosmos. But pure rhythm, too, is a genuine expression 
of Gana-life ; for this life has a rhythmic and periodic flow. 
This is why primitives are superior as rhythmists to all 
cultured races. Argentine rhythmics, in particular, are 
grandly symbolical for a state of being nearest the depths 
of Life. They articulate monotony pulse-wise. But, on the 
pther hand, they break through this monotony, again and 



GANA 181 

again, as a restive horse breaks through the motionless 
infinity of the Pampa. Whatever is wild in Argentine dances 
and Argentine songs has its prototype in the Corcovada, the 
galloping of the wild horse straining to throw off its rider. 
And, again, it is profoundly symbolical that the native 
Argentines of the campo dance their wild dances exclusively 
with their feet, whilst body and face remain impassive, thus 
marking the true relationship between movement and 
monotony. 

But the most affecting music South America has created, 
to my mind, is that of Peru. This music, too, is monotonous 
and polyphonous. But everywhere it is resonant with the 
memory of a great past. Now it is as though one heard 
echoing through its melodies the march of the vast Inca- 
armies which created one of the grandest empires of history; 
anon as though the resigned chant of the serf sounded in 
its refrain. And at the same time, each song has something 
of the hymn in it: it is the remembrance of that Divine 
Order of the past which gave to all earthly functions a 
hieratic significance. 

Spain is the gateway through which understanding of 
pure Gana-life can be reached. In his book Englishmen, 
Frenchmen, Spaniards* Salvador de Madariaga has very 
profoundly described the Spaniard as the man of passion. 
He is characterized by the fact that he does not primarily 
think, nor primarily act, but that primarily he lets himself 
live. Accordingly, his existence is one of essential wholeness; 
he never lives from out of parts of his Self, but from out of 
their integral connexion. Hence his normal and enduring 
state of being is one of passivity; disorder and inconsistency 
the frame of his external life; his character is spontaneous, 
simple, sincere; he is an intrinsic individualist; intuition 
in contradistinction to reflection is his ruling disposition, 
faith the strongest form of his dynamism; he manifests 

* 1929, Oxford University Press, Humphrey Milford, London. 



182 SEVENTH MEDITATION 

activity merely in the form of an occasional explosion. Then 
indeed he achieves prodigies, because integral man is 
drawn into action. Now Spanish life whose well-spring is 
passion is no pure Gana-life, for it is co-determined by 
Spirit; hence the significance of faith, intuition and imagina- 
tion, whereas Gana is blind. Yet in Spain, too, the recog- 
nized nerve of all life is Gana which is irrational and incap- 
able of rationalization. This is why in South America Gana 
could become the sole life-form : spiritual tradition perished 
in the long run, as do all spiritual traditions on foreign 
soil ; whereas Gana survived, because its primordial charac- 
ter is at home everywhere. This explains what seems a 
pre-established harmony existing between the colonists 
and the coloured natives. 

By comparison Spain and South America one learns to 
understand how much of what is generally considered spirit- 
born is not of spiritual origin. All customs and usages belong 
here. Even if their origin be spiritual what lives on as 
custom is a definite organic melody fixed in feelings and 
emotions, which takes its course automatically without the 
co-operation of any understanding of its meaning and with- 
out option of will. Thus, in South America more ancient 
Spanish traditions survive, than in modern Spain. They are 
absolutely binding for all who belong to the ancient stock, 
and their force makes them so infectious that they are quick 
to draw even the immigrants from modern countries into 
their magic circle. This is possible for the sole reason that 
here it is not a question of spiritual ties. Customs have their 
roots in the tenacious world of the Third Day of Creation. 
One does not take them over on the strength of under- 
standing, one becomes their slave. And if such thraldom 
rules the entire existence, one can indeed speak of a 'pathic 
attitude'; only it is not the pathic attitude, about which 
modern German romanticists become so enthusiastic; for 
the attitude they mean simply does not exist in primordial 



GANA 183 

states of being. There is no idea of a world 'of vast and grand 
experience 1 nor 'of floating primary images'; neither is 
there 'wealth of soul' nor 'conscious connexion with the 
continuous flow of life' : it is a form of existence bound in 
like manner as is that of physical organs. And the conscious- 
ness which is dimly aware of the existence of Spirit does not 
reflect primeval bliss, but the suffering and pain of bondage. 
Thus, in the beginning, there could only be that sadness 
one finds in the expression of the eyes of so many animals, 
not joy. The dream of the Golden Age is the first-born child 
of a consciousness which mirrors images upside down. 

Previous to my voyage I had been told by admirers of 
South America that the beauty of the particular modality of 
its life lies in its vegetative quality. On South American 
soil it became conclusively clear to me that Hans Much is 
right when he maintains that the plant is not the root of all 
organic life, but that from some unknown root two diverging 
trees grow up; one of which has man for its crown, the 
other, on an even higher plane (according to Much), the 
plant.* It is true that man, too, to a considerable extent is 
plant-like; his vegetative system accordingly is more per- 
fect in its functions than the animal within him. Nevertheless 
the animal, and more especially man is not at bottom a plant. 
The animal lives on spoliation, not on production; its en- 
tire existence rests on the exploitation of the plant which 
alone is capable of transmuting the unorganic into the organic. 
On the plane of physical organic life the plant certainly is 
the more perfect and successful formation. It is complete 
in itself; there is no reason why it should strive beyond it- 
self. Moreover, the plant really is innocent, since it produces 
everything by itself and does not live at the expense of other 
live creatures. It is more creative; and, on the whole, in its 
existence the beautiful outweighs the ugly. But once one 
has realized this, one also understands why within the depths 
* Cf. his pamphlet Korper-Scele-Geist, Leipzig, Curt Kabitzsch Verkg. 



184 SEVENTH MEDITATION 

of man must live desolation, and not bliss; ugliness, not 
beauty; evil, and not goodness. Murder and rapine are the 
foundations of animal life, or in its passive aspect, suffering 
and torture. Here, liberation and beauty can only come from 
Spirit, which uses the tensions of Nature as a material for 
the creation of melodies all its own. 

Gana-life, therefore, is essentially animal and not vegeta- 
tive. This is why, to awakening spiritual consciousness, it 
must needs appear evil in its nethermost depths. How pro- 
found was the insight of Buddha when he identified the 
desire to live with greed ! Once one recognizes no .primacy 
of the spiritual which grows from other roots than earth 
within man, then if one would still cling to ethical de- 
mands there is indeed no solution truer to Sense than the 
desire of extinction. But precisely here lies the error: to 
cling to ethical demands when the independence of Spirit is 
denied. In this connection Bolshevism is clearer and more 
consistent than Buddhism. If there is no Beyond of Nature, 
then Life is not sacred; then Evil is equivalent to Good, 
where the latter is not more expedient, and preferable where 
it is of better service to Life. Then the group, as the more 
longlived of the two, is right to make a slave of the individual 
The Buddhistic attempt to vindicate an ascetic humane 
ethos on the grounds that it is difficult to end life, unless 
one acts according to the moral law, has its raison d'etre in 
metaphysical prejudice which continues working in the 
Unconscious even of the Hindu Buddhist. This prejudice 
is undoubtedly right; therefore Buddhism is a potentially 
eternal world-religion, which Bolshevism is not. Neverthe- 
less, the latter is not only more consistent: it shows with 
greater frankness what human life qua animal life in its 
nethermost depths actually is. Thus it is true to significance 
that criminals should govern Russia. It is also true to sense 
that they do not think themselves criminals; for in the 
netherworld their ethos is in harmony with the place. 



GANA 185 

This trend of thought has led me to a true understanding 
of the coldblood quality of the South American, which at 
first seemed so strange to me. Nethermost animal life is 
cold; it is inert, re-acting, not acting; it is absolutely tied 
from within. Blind urge rules it. Of progress it knows no- 
thing. From here one can understand why it is that the 
born criminal always shows primitive traits. Not only does 
he lack checks of mind and soul : in external appearance he 
often bears a surprising resemblance to the under-man of 
the nethermost strata from which humans have been dug up. 
He is almost always a coward. Original Fear rules the whole 
of his nature. Original Hunger is the hall-mark of his 
greed. He lacks all sympathy, even where he himself is 
concerned. This corresponds to the spirit of the cold prim- 
ordial snake. But foremost he is, on the one hand, a creature 
of routine and, on the other, he lacks all forethought. Is 
further proof necessary that the netherworld is evil? . . . 

IN the Argentine the world of Gana manifests itself more 
impressively than anywhere on earth, because its intrin- 
sic passivity is concomitant with outward progressiveness, 
intellectual alertness and great refinement of feeling. This 
nation lives a primordial life, and yet appears thoroughly 
modern. In order to understand this, it should be remem- 
bered that Collective Life can begin anew at every stage of 
civilization, just as all individual life begins as though no- 
thing had gone before it, so that archaism and primordi- 
ality are by no means bound to historical age. The prim- 
ordial character of this life manifests itself in its passive 
quality. Now in South America, the essential passivity and 
inertia is so great, that one is justified in calling life there a 
mere 'Being-lived' ; it is not an active life. Whatever looks 
like activity has its roots at the surface, and this is why South 
Americans are generally held to be superficial. Funda- 
mentally they are not superficial at all ; but their depths are 
dumb. Moreover, South Americans are unwilling to show 



i86 SEVENTH MEDITATION 

their true character, they prefer to ape the lives of others. 
Woman, whose life is suffering experience is as a type pro- 
founder than man, who #-reacts whatever affects him in- 
wardly in outward activity. This explains why all earliest 
great world-experiences were made in ages in which pas- 
sivity predominated: in the beginning was woman, not 
man. And one should not try to settle the question by 
asserting that here it is 'simply' a case of 'primitive' psy- 
chology. First of all, what I envisage here is different from 
what applies to the latter idea the present-day 'primitives' 
or 'races in a state of nature' are specialized or untalented 
representatives of Gana-life, who are most likely incapable 
of higher development. Secondly, the primivity in ques- 
tion is the foundation of #//, even the most spiritualized 
existence. The ancestors of all civilized races once were akin 
to what the South Americans are to-day. They all began in 
blindness. The mythological stage is already a late stage. 
And any man who is at all vital, and who has not yet reached 
his end as the representative of this race, must appear primi- 
tive in some layers of his being, however considerable his 
spiritualization and cultural level may otherwise be. Hence 
the so-called child-like character of genius. Now the South 
Americans, in so far as they are near to earth, and the forces 
of Gana within them are not repressed, weakened or deteri- 
orated, have a greater future on earth than all uprooted 
peoples, and all those who merely exploit the earth as raw 
material, however intelligent and civilized they be. Accord- 
ingly, the South Americans as opposed to the North Ameri- 
cans are thoroughly vital, exuberantly potent and fruitful; 
theirs is a wonderfully rich emotional life. The unsettled 
state is what corresponds to the vital beginnings of all 
peoples. Gana-life in its outward manifestations is discon- 
tinuous and disconnected; in each individual case, it mani- 
fests itself as a qualitatively unique and hermetically closed 
melody. Owing to this, all human life begins in the form not 



GANA 187 

of large, but of small communities, which refuse to have any- 
thing to do with each other; particularism was the cradle of 
all empires. Being, moreover, passive, Gana-life is static and 
accordingly firmly moored in the earth. Nothing could be 
easier than to defeat an empire organized and permeated 
by intellect like the German Reich\ if Germany was not dis- 
rupted, this was due to the forces of Gana inherent in its 
various peoples which clung to Bismarck's Reich from the 
same inner urge as that which compels the France of to-day 
which only two hundred years ago united by violence many 
incompatible races to adhere to the idea of la France une 
et indivisible ; but in all likelihood France will be as incap- 
able of assimilating the Alsatians as the Syrians and Ton- 
kinese. The blinder a life, the more unerring its course, like 
that of a man walking in his sleep; the nearer does it come 
to the perfection of organic processes. If Gana-life as such 
is strong enough, no history can shake its balance. Being 
blind, it is also beyond the pale of time. It may be sup- 
pressed for years, for centuries, for millennia. But then, 
eternally young, it will claim its rights at the first pro- 
pitious moment. 

And it seizes this moment more unerringly, than would 
any mind not gifted with genius, in whom the life of Gana 
and of Spirit have not been blended in a higher synthesis. 
For nethermost life is so accurately and all-sidedly fitted into 
all earth-processes, that it seldom behaves otherwise than 
in the way we would call fit to purpose or true to aim. Only 
what is essential here is this that the fact that life is being 
directed towards aims pre-supposes no imagination what- 
soever. Judged from the angle of its achievements, the 
blindness of Gana is nothing more marvellous than the blind- 
ness of radium. Probably the prevailing misunderstanding 
of the case is due to the survival of the prejudice harboured 
by primitive man that death is an #-natural thing. But 
precisely the end Death represents, as opposed to the other- 



188 SEVENTH MEDITATION 

wise ruling law of the preservation of energy, characterizes 
the animate in contradistinction to the inanimate. Within 
the connexion of Gana-life clearly understood, the so-called 
life and death-impulses can be without difficulty rightly 
located. At every moment, man in his heart of hearts 'wills' 
both life and death; for every moment something within 
him dies, whilst some other thing is born. What Life really 
'wills', is neither life nor death, but its own particular identity; 
at one moment, this will posits something more akin to what 
we call Life, and at another something more akin to our 
idea of death. When a melody has come to a close, it posits 
the absolute end. Beyond the living-out of Gana-life itself 
there is no goal. To understand all this is impossible, because 
understanding is born of Spirit which demands continuity, 
and Gana-life is essentially discontinuous. It is possible that 
the understanding acceptance of the newest results of phy- 
sical research according to which the universe is finite and 
behaves on the whole like a soap-bubble, may indirectly 
help to accept also what is incomprehensible in vital reality 
and thus help men to desist from interpretations which con- 
form to intellectual demands, but are contrary to Nature. 
In the meantime the following thoughts may make resigna- 
tion easier. Probably it could be proven that of all creatures 
the far-seeing and imaginative are those most exposed to 
danger; for the connexions nearest at hand on which their 
lives in the first place depend, escape their notice. Through 
centuries savage races thrive under the most miserable con- 
ditions, whereas genius typically starves. 

If now we include in a single glance what we have said in 
the course of this meditation, the possibility of a life modern 
and at the same time blind, such as we find in South America, 
no longer strikes us as strange. No foresight, no initiative; 
so slight a power of imagination that chance plays the part 
it played in the earliest days of Greek Moira; a complete 
lack of connexion and consistency. And yet, on the whole, 



CAN A 189 

the stream of life flows along satisfactorily. The fact is that 
the emphasis lies not on the inadequacies, but on the peculiar 
virtues of Gana. Most likely, but few South Americans take 
their actions quite seriously, because in their eyes all success 
in the last analysis is a matter of fate or accident. And for 
themselves they are right to resign on the plane of spiritual 
initiative: a compelling force acting from within holds 
their life together in full harmony with the nature of Gana. 
And regarding this compelling force, which seldom errs in 
its ways and aims, South American consciousness is quicker 
of hearing than European consciousness. The faculty of 
observation and of judgment the body possesses in its sphere, 
exceeds that of mind as it appears in its present stage of 
development. Its sensitiveness is akin to that of an instru- 
ment of precision. A life centred in Gana shares many of the 
advantages of the body. But on the other hand, this attitude 
of absolute surrender of consciousness to Gana makes of 
life not only one single suffering experience, it also tends to 
turn it into a chronic disease. Quite logically, disease is 
taken infinitely seriously in South America. In Buenos Aires, 
it thereby becomes a means of ascending the social ladder. 
Four or five influenzas duly advertized in the special column 
entitled 'Enfermos* of the leading newspapers which every- 
body reads with the greatest attention and sympathy, suf- 
fice to make a person known and to give him access to the 
first ranks of society. 

TMPERCEPTIBLY our considerations have flowed into 
JLthe old channel of our thoughts on the world of the Third 
Day of Creation. Indian impassibility is the extreme expres- 
sion of Gana-life which entrenches itself behind Nay-saying. 
The self-indulgence of Argentine woman is the original 
expression of her accepted susceptibility. And Original 
Fear and Original Hunger are the impulses which under lie 
all the phenomena we have considered. Original Fear is the 
basic reason of that timidity typical of South America; a 



190 SEVENTH MEDITATION 

timidity whose roots reach down to far greater depths than 
that of other young nations which feel diffident before older 
nations simply because of their lesser racial experience and 
culture. But what about Original Hunger? Original Hun- 
ger finds its expression in an insatiable craving for what is 
new and modern, which is usually absorbed in the manner 
boas devour stags, and rarely retained. The Gana-quality 
of this thirst for knowledge is proven by the rapidity with 
which things are forgotten and by the lack of a ruling sense 
of value ; for the latter always impels man not to devour 
what he values, but to treasure it. Hence the extreme Don 
Juanism of South American man. Hence, too, the unique 
readiness of South American women to let their mind and 
soul be fecundated by Spirit. But also the ancient Spanish 
greed of gold survives there. Its spiritual component which 
played the decisive part with the conquistadores, has van- 
ished; thus Original Hunger manifests itself within the 
South American souls in an almost pure state; it does so 
in the form of a desire to eat their way through all things, as 
the worm eats its way through the earth. The Argentine 
craves the possession of inordinate wealth, but not because he 
has any reverence for or the wish to create values, but in 
order to spend it foolishly, as fast as he can. To that extent 
even Argentine generosity, however beautiful it may be, is 
as a rule devoid of all ethical motives : it is mere squander- 
ing. 

This leads us to a study of the manifestations of Power. 
Obviously, an inert, soft, yielding Collective Life offers the 
born leader immense possibilities; and the same applies to 
a well-organized machinery of power, wherever such 
machinery happened to be exteriorized. To begin with the 
latter : only the supremacy of passive Gana-life with the over- 
whelming majority made possible the existence of the Inca- 
state, whose wonderful economic system based on a pre- 
arranged plan will for Bolshevism ever remain an unattain- 



CAN A 191 

able ideal ; its founders probably were a race grown out of 
kind ; they were a highly gifted warrior tribe of strong initia- 
tive, who knew how to objectify the power they had con- 
quered. The same applies to the amazing clock-work state 
of the Jesuits in Paraquay, and even to modern Brazil and 
the Argentine: in both these modern states the organiza- 
tion of the government is far in advance of national organiza- 
tions. But what possession of power and its exercise on the 
plane of ruling Gana originally means, becomes clear when 
one considers the typical leader or chieftain of South America, 
the caudillo. He is as pure a creature of Gana as is the mass. 
To him applies, what we said of the terrible beasts of prey: 
they are not brave, but blind force acts through them; 
they are no less subjected to the overpowering supremacy of 
Nature than the weakest of creatures. But the caudillo's 
Gana is stronger than that of the others, therefore involun- 
tarily they submit to him, once the ratio of forces has be- 
come apparent. In order to achieve this, he need do no more 
than the sun does to assert itself in the face of the planets. 
But this does not imply that he possesses Wu-Weif the 
original radiating power of Spirit which belonged to the 
great Chinese emperors : no spirit whatever emanates from 
him; he is just as passive, as devoid of initiative as the maj- 
ority. One can best gain an understanding of the power of 
the caudillo when thinking of the groups in which monkeys 
live: they always show a carefully organized hierachy 
which is purely based on the specific weight of the various 
males. The caudillo incarnates absolutely blind will to 
power. To use the language of the primitives which for 
once provides an apt expression : he possesses more Mana. 
No South American caudillo Bolivar was not a caudillo, 
he was fundamentally still a Spanish colonial ever had a 
political end in view; he was simply urged from within to 

* I have used and explained this Chinese term in the chapter 'World- 
Ascendancy* of Creative Understanding. 



i 9 2 SEVENTH MEDITATION 

conquer power, to maintain or augment it; and this is what 
occasionally also led to what looked like far-sighted states- 
manship. This was the case with the arch-tyrant of the 
Argentine, Rozas, who had no other object but himself; it 
is thanks to him, nevertheless, that the Argentine even to-day 
represents a state of more individual character and style, 
than are most of the other South American states. Irigoyen, 
too, who by refusing to take part in the World War and by 
standing on the defensive against the United States has 
achieved the final consolidation of the state Rozas founded, 
had no political aims or purposes a fact which explains 
the literally antidiluvial mistakes of his old age which ulti- 
mately led to his fall (for instance, he refused for years 
to pay the bills of the state naturally amounting to millions, 
because it meant 'too much money'). Why did he with truly 
magnificent moral firmness prevent the Argentine from 
joining the Entente in the Great War? . One of his country- 
men gave the following explanation to Kasimir Edschmid:* 
'Irigoyen did not go to war, because his predecessors in 
the presidency, the gentlemen of the Jockey Club wished to 
take up arms; then because the Yankees were joining in; 
thirdly, because neither Spain nor the Church were going 
to war/ In truth, all possible reasons can be included in one 
single sentence : porqui no le daba la gana. This, too, was 
the source of his radical reforms : as a creature of Gana he 
was en rapport with the masses which could follow him, and 
maintained himself instinctively anticipating their needs and 
requirements. But this he did not from wise forethought, 
but, as it were, demopathically, if it be permissible to invent 
the polar opposite of the word 'demagogically*. Similarly, 
he merely satisfied his own blind will to power, when he 
refused to answer any of the communiques of the all-power- 
ful United States. Irigoyen was the typical South American 

* Cf. his book Glanz und Llend Sudamcrikas (Frankfurt, Main, Societato- 
druckerei, p. 363) admirable as a description. 



CAN A 193 

caudillo precisely in the extraordinary passivity and inflexi- 
bility he manifested with regard to everything to which he 
felt opposed. For the rest, he was true to his type in his 
art of shrouding himself in mystery. He was the most inac- 
cessible and unpenetrable of all men. Argentine parada, 
the craving to show off, expressed itself in his case in a 
reversion to the opposite. And thereby he acquired what 
every Indian chief instictively aims at : the prestige of the 
magician. From the view-point of passive Gana, all active 
working of Spirit is the work of magic; for Spirit runs 
athwart the course of its movements. True to logic, every 
earliest bearer of the Spirit-principle plays the role of the 
magician, and actually considers himself a wizard. The 
ritualism of primitive races is well-known : for the success 
of the chase the incantation preceding it is more important 
than the arrow which hits its mark. But Rozas, too, a man 
mighty in arms, thought like this; in order to destroy his 
opponent Urquizas (who ultimately defeated him) he had 
a sentence spoken in a particular cadence for years before 
every assembly, on the composition of which sentence he had 
spent long nights: Muera el loco traidor selvaje unitario 
Urquizas. And it was this consciousness of the magician 
which came into play when the last of the great caudillos, 
Irigoyen and the Peruvian Leguia, honestly thought them- 
selves something like a Messiah. Aztec and Inca emperors 
in the same way thought themselves gods. Hence the secret 
torturing and assassinating which Leguia, in particular, is 
alleged to have practised on a large scale with a perfectly 
clear conscience. He had more of the Indian character than 
Irigoyen and was accordingly more taimado* in the sense 
of the coldblood. I quote part of the reflections of Kasimir 
Edschmid on the fall of Leguia (with whom I was not per- 
sonally acquainted ; I knew Irigoyen well), because he pre- 
sents his personality very plastically: 'GOhrs remembered 
* Cf. the definition of this idea on p. 47. 



i 9 4 SEVENTH MEDITATION 

how, the day after he had seen the severed head which had 
been reduced to the size of an egg, he had been to inter- 
view Leguia. On the other side of the garden lay the room 
in which Pizarro was stabbed. It was the same line, the 
same fate, the same medieval force which had stirred both 
men, and to which accordingly to a myterious inherent law 
the country had succumbed. Gohrs recalled the moment 
when he had seen the old man standing between the Chilean 
and the Peruvian queens of beauty, well-groomed, with 
white hair and small feet. In his mind's eye he saw him 
attending the bullfights without fear, dauntless, exposing 
himself to every kind of danger. He thought of his son, 
whom he had disowned because he was guilty of corruption. 
He thought of another of his sons who, because of a business 
transaction in which he had been robbed of 30,000 by 
somebody, was chasing this person all over Europe. He 
remembered how an Argentine had told him that a son of 
Leguia had offered him the monopoly of the shooting of 
furred animals in Peru fifty-fifty a gigantic subornation 
to the detriment to the country. And then again he saw 
Leguia, gentle of appearance, on the very day he had signed 
the order that thirty people were to be taken to San Lorenzo 
and tortured for an attempt upon his life . . . How Leguia 
had said with a smile: 'Ten years and not flagged for an 
hour. Yes Lima must become a great city within ten 
years ; but my programme for the irrigation of the desert 
sea-line and its settling with poor people and Indies is more 
important. I am determined to raise the status of the Indios 
... It was the terrible tragedy of this country that the 
strongest man Peru had had since the days of Pizarro, the 
first who cared for the Indios, was forced to govern as a 
tyrant and a dictator. And it was part of the tragedy of 
South America that this strong man who desired to do his 
best for Peru and had indeed done wonders, was morally 
implicated in a corruption which made him half a chief of the 



GANA 195 

Renaissance and half a criminal . . . What hope was 
there for a country where all things neutralized each other, 
ran athwart or were corrupt; where good always elicited evil, 
where evil was expected to serve as a screen for the good, and 
where, on the whole, things remained just what they were?' 
The answer is: every hope\ for as yet blind Gana still 
holds the sovereign rule, and the Up and Down without pro- 
gress represents its specific law and order. Leguia surely had 
as little primary will either to Good or Evil as Irigoyen ; 
through him merely worked blind will to power in an adapta- 
tion corresponding to the existing state of things. And at 
bottom all great statesmen have been what Irigoyen and Leguia 
were. They were more to the extent that they were not blind, 
but seeing, and had spiritual ends in view. But had not 
blind will to power lived within them, they would not have 
been leaders by true inner vocation ; they would have found 
no followers. They would not in every crisis instinctively 
have done the right thing nearest at hand. Above all, they 
would not with the necessary unscrupulousness have used 
the means most effectual at the given moment. If now we 
take in at a glance these last trends of thought and what was 
said in 'Fate', it seems to me that it should be conclusively 
clear what politics are. The political decadence of Europe 
set in with the supremacy (beginning in the French Revolu- 
tion) of political theories which were guided by and towards 
purely intellectual principles. That is to say : since then ever 
less genuine leaders have come to power; genuine in the 
sense that their Gana should involuntarily create a powerful 
field of gravitation. Only England, hostile to theory and 
abstract thought, still knows how to recognize and breed 
leaders as zoological types. Aristotle meant what he said 
when he defined man as the political animal\ only there are 
also political animals of other descriptions. But no success- 
ful political activity is possible, unless it move on the plane 
of Gana, on the plane of inner bondage as opposed to liberty 



196 SEVENTH MEDITATION 

of choice. Wise policy never aims at achieving what is best 
from the view-point of reason by means of rational measures; 
for whatever reason has built up, it can the very next mo- 
ment destroy again : its aim must be to bring the individual 
and the social instincts, the instincts of power and subordina- 
tion, in short, all the various Gana-melodies into such a con- 
nection, that the resulting external order impresss the Uncon- 
scious as obviously right and is thus compulsorily maintained 
and supported by it. But this can only be effected by means 
corresponding to the nature of Gana. Philip II of Spain still 
knew, that in order to avoid jeopardizing important innova- 
tions from the very outset, he must in the time-honoured 
medieval way guarantee the continuance of the customs 
traditional to the various regions of his empire. The chaotic 
state of the modern world is to a great extent due to the 
fact that, on grounds of reason or unreason they are not 
respected, or else that fixed historical Gana-ties have ceased 
to exist. 

Good policy is indeed possible exclusively with regard to 
Gana-life. Hence all leaders must be men possessed by the 
will to power. Public opinion, even in the most civilized 
nations, recognizes this truth to the extent that it takes it as 
a matter of course that a man should manoeuvre for the con- 
solidation of his own power, mostly at the expense of the 
people and that it does not resent such manoeuvring. And 
all men I know, whether or not they acknowledge it, suc- 
cumb to the prestige of the leader who has the courage to be 
hard. A considerable number of the most humane Europeans 
must guard against the temptation to worship Lenin as a 
'Saint*. The whole of Mussolini's prestige rests upon what is 
elementary within him; and there are many democrats in 
all countries who, in their heart of hearts, are filled with an 
unholy joy and admiration for the gross abuse Pilsudski 
hurls at his parliament. Certainly such obtrusively saurian- 
like methods are not indispensable. The fact that the dictators 



GANA 197 

of modern Europe can, and very likely must, say things 
which, for considerations of good style and prudence, no 
condottiere of the Renaissance would ever have dared to 
utter, is a reaction against the period in which theory ruled 
supreme. But if the emperor Shun of China had but to sit 
on his throne, his face turned towards the South, in order 
that perfect harmony prevail throughout his empire, this 
was so not because of his transparency for the spiritual 
otherwise every saint might have been an emperor but 
because this transparency rested upon the foundation of 
true-born will to power. Thus, weakness even to-day is the 
one thing no nation forgives its leader. How completely 
all politics belong to the plane of Gana, is proven by the 
grotesque fact that in international intercourse, wherever 
statesmen do not directly mean war, they must above all 
things be regardful of the 'susceptibility* of the states far 
more so even than is necessary in the case of South American 
women. But I will not insist. A glance at history, at political 
success and political failure, proves to him who is willing to 
see that the entire domain of possible political achievement 
belongs to the plane of Gana. Hence the compelling plausi- 
bility of those forms of political life which have proved suc- 
cessful, such as monarchy, parliamentarism, the Soviet- 
system, forms of government which have passed from one 
nation to another like infectious diseases. Here it is a case 
not of constitutions, but of organic habits. 'What are 
laws?' a Bolivian once said to me when I pointed out the 
strange discrepancy between the official rights and the actual 
status of the Indians of the High Tablelands. 'Laws are 
imposed and subsequently repealed. People act according 
to traditional custom.' Certainly, the great statesman must 
also be a great mind. But what distinguishes him from other 
great spirits and explains why not every great spirit should be 
qualified to be a statesman, is that peculiar inner adjustment 
of the born statesman thanks to which Spirit originally acts 



198 SEVENTH MEDITATION 

conformably to Gana. All the significance of good slogans, 
of carefully weighed rewards and executions lies here. There 
can be no doubt that, viewed from Spirit, all means employed 
to establish and maintain power are essentially evil. Com- 
pulsion as such is evil, and so are the inevitable lie called 
diplomacy and tactics, and the extortion called 'bringing a 
certain pressure to bear upon others', and without which 
a policy of power is impossible. The picture is completed 
by the necessity that in the soul of a leader the will to power 
should reign supreme. 

Now the South American caudillos with their coldblood 
qualities, their will to power and their lack of conscious aims, 
no longer stand out as exceptional phenomena, but as arch- 
types. They represent arch-types in a far purer form than 
the chieftains of primitive races, because with the latter 
group-consciousness predominates; accordingly, the leader, 
however blessed with Mana he may be, -never appears in so 
pure a form, nor possesses so great an individual significance 
as the caudillo. But primitives do not make politics proper. 
The latter begin when individualization has progressed so far 
that the group is not merely 'existent' like a plant, but repre- 
sents a dynamic field of forces; a thing which presup- 
poses a focus. On the other hand, the most brutal of the 
great conquerors, such as the Mongols, cannot be regarded as 
arch-types, because unconsciously they were already ruled 
by Spirit which disciplines Gana and sets aims and goals to 
it. No one will reproach Dschenghis Khan with self-indul- 
gence. If now we survey all first beginnings of history we 
know of, we realize that all bear a resemblance to South 
American conditions. The first molecular order was the 
result of mere specific weight. There was no set purpose 
apart from the striving for the maintenance and increase of 
power as such; there was no synthetic vision. Early ages are 
as full of autonomous kings as the forest is full of trees. 
Hence the extreme particularism of all first beginnings, 



GANA 199 

such as one may witness to-day in the mutual hostilities and 
contempt of the diverse nations of South America. But these 
blind and exclusive units are the sole possible foundations 
of every later civilization. La France une et indivisible would 
be a very frail thing indeed without the Gana-ties created by 
more than a thousand years of particularistic structure and 
a subsequent unifying style of Life. And to that extent all 
wars between neighbouring states are eruptions of the prim- 
ordial, which appears in the form of a grotesque exaggera- 
tion in the World War; where each Gana-melody is a thing 
particular and exclusive which lives according to its own 
individual rhythm, they must inevitably cross-interfere. 
And since the evil Gana-world is the foundation of all Life, 
there is but one way of creating a state of things true to 
Logos and Ethos : to orchestrate the Gana-melodies in such 
a manner, that involuntarily they fall in and play tout-en- 
semble or unisono. In so far it is a propitious sign that wars 
are growing ever more universal. To that extent a linking 
of interests is the only way to reach a general peaceful order 
of human life. Man of the 'Geological Epoch of Man' who 
is actually the Lord of Creation, is far less conscious of 
Original Weakness than any man of earlier ages. This is 
why religious or any other kinds of super-terrestrial motives 
find a particularly slight response in his netherworld. All the 
more strongly and constantly do the undertones of Original 
Hunger and Original Fear sound the accompaniment of all 
happenings in the upper world. The majority of people are 
in fear of starvation ; they are crying for security. This in- 
evitably makes for an economic, not a political age; for it 
is only recognized ownership, not armament which safe- 
guards. To what depths these motives may work creatively 
is shown by Bolshevist Russia. The young people of this 
nation which by natural disposition is averse to work cannot 
even imagine a state of things in which one does not work. 
This is so precisely for the same reason that nobody is too 



200 SEVENTH MEDITATION 

lazy to breathe : without work there really is nothing to eat 
in the Russia of to-day. 

^ I ^HE problem of Gana has made it very clear to me, once 
A again, how important it is to find the right 'designa- 
tions', as the term was used in ancient China.* Confucius 
taught that the first act of a king who assumed the govern- 
ment of a kingdom in a state of disorder must be to 'set 
right the designations' ; for every word which is employed 
inevitably works itself out conformably to its own particular 
meaning. The World War and the chaotic conditions suc- 
ceeding it have given us ample experience of the truth of this 
teaching : every lie told for purposes of propaganda, every 
one-sided exaggeration for tactical reasons brought their 
own punishment with them, for events subsequently took 
them at their word. Thus the pacification of Europe is 
being prevented ever since by realities actually born of 
words ; and such realities are far more difficult to eliminate 
that would have been the conflicting tendencies in which the 
World Conflagration originated. But 'right designations' 
are no less important when understanding is the aim. It is 
impossible to see primordial Life in its true light, when one 
proceeds from the idea of primitiveness. For therewith 
one starts from the prejudice of a striving toward higher 
states; the case is judged from this idea and what is unique 
is either overlooked or misinterpreted. This is the origin 
of the mistaken theory of 'primary images'. There certainly 
are primary images ; but they come into existence as reflec- 
tions in a mirror, as it were, at the in-break of Spirit. Prim- 
ordial Life is blind, essentially blind; and only when pro- 
ceeding from this blindness can one gain a correct idea of 
this life and give it the right definition. Thus also we can 
arrive at the right understanding of the original connection 
of Life on earth only when starting from original blindness. 

* Cf. the explanation in the chapter 'World- Ascendancy* of Creative 
Understanding. 



GANA 201 

This connection lies at greater depths than all Mneme, all 
memory; in particular it lies at profounder depths than 
all feelings and emotions permeated by soul or capable 
of such permeation. We saw that thraldom is not love. The 
tie its idea denotes is an abysmal bond. It is a thing ana- 
logous to the forces of gravity or of cohesion, or to the mag- 
netic field, or chemical affinity, as the case may be. Since 
the analogy is incomplete, it is of no use insisting on the 
image we have employed, if only it succeeds in making 
obvious which recognition it is meant to convey. This recog- 
nition condensed as far as possible is the following. The 
original character of Life can no more easily be grasped 
when we proceed from its earliest manifestations of sensi- 
tiveness and irritability, than when we start from its most 
spiritualized forms of expression. Behaviourism shows 
clearer judgment than other schools, when it holds that habit 
is the ultimately given fact; for this idea actually is true 
to the quality of Primordial Life which is exclusive, tied 
and closed like a melody. But Behaviourism is mistaken 
when it lays the stress on external causation. However much 
primordial life was dependent on externals, however much 
it was forced to adapt itself in order to exist the original 
phenomenon precisely is this case is its autonomy. And the 
laws ruling this autonomy are the laws of Gana. Their dif- 
ferentiated manifestations can be reduced in each case with- 
out risk of error to ideas such as Original Hunger and Orig- 
inal Fear, ecstasy of blood-shedding and desire to overpower, 
seduction and thraldom, instincts of self-preservation and 
self-destruction ; they can also be intepreted in terms of the 
two principles of Lust and Reality, as does the School of 
Freud. But everywhere the irreducible last resort is and 
remains undifferentiated massive Gana. Gana, not sex, nor 
the instinct of power and retaliation, and most emphatically 
no prospective tendency is the original phenomenon. Fore- 
sight is possible only where Spirit rules. 



202 SEVENTH MEDITATION 

Judged from Spirit, these primordial manifestations of 
Life impress one as weirdly strange. But they are as weirdly 
akin to those dark forces which hold together what is con- 
nected in the universe we are wont to call dead a fact Spirit 
will for ever fail to understand. Here all intelligible concepts 
prove inefficient. But if one applies comprehensible ideas 
which correspond to reality such as observation and infer- 
ence show it to be, they strike one as even more weird. The 
universe is not empty, but somehow of a viscous quality. 
There is no continuous transition from one process to an- 
other, but discontinuity is apparent everywhere. And yet 
everywhere uniting equations are applicable which must 
somehow be expressive of a real connexion. Thus, Prim- 
ordial Life, too, is discontinuous and at the same time con- 
nected. And foremost it is viscous and inwardly heavy. The 
human correspondence to its earliest expression is what we 
call thraldom in the case of love. Its -normal state corre- 
sponds to habit fixed so rigidly that no understanding and no 
will can break through it. 

Before I set foot on South America's primordial soil I 
thought that Life was originally without weight. And what- 
ever was heavy or made life heavy seemed to me degenerate. 
I know now that inner heaviness, absolute lack of freedom, 
and bondage represent its primeval expression. And I know, 
too, that this primordial quality survives immutable in 
all live creatures, at whatever depths, however unfathomable, 
as long as life remains vital. For this primordial quality 
alone is in harmony with the Spirit of the Earth. Thus it is 
not contrary to Sense, when the irrational quality of over- 
whelming power is worshipped as a gift of God like the 
Divine Right of Kings; it has nothing to do with God; but 
it is an expression of a reality as profound in the direction of 
the earth, as is the law of gravity. Thus, it is true to signifi- 
cance when Love as Thraldom Absolute is extolled in song 
and poetry as something superhuman: such love is not 



GANA 203 

indeed superhuman in the direction of Spirit, but with this 
love the inscrutable law of Earth reaches out into human 
life permeated by Spirit. And thus, all the meaning and the 
significance of Death has its roots in Gana. On hearing of the 
decease of a great spirit who had not reached a very old age, 
Goethe said : 'I cannot understand why he consented to die/ 
For truly great men, that is, men almost exclusively ruled by 
Spirit, the end indeed rarely comes, before it is in accord with 
Spiritual Significance. Otherwise Death has nothing to do 
with Spirit. Death itself is no spiritual problem. But Death 
is no stranger to Life. Primordial man who dies a natural 
death and generally dies with so light a heart, would give 
truest expression to his actual experience, if he said : me da 
la gana de morir. 



EIGHTH MEDITATION 



DELICADEZA 



f I AHE man who would write the history of Creation not 
I from the point of view of Spirit, but of Earth, and begin 
-** with the moment when Life commenced its autono- 
mous development, would not say : in the beginning was the 
Word, or in the beginning was Action (as Goethe's Faust 
would have it). He would have to say : in the beginning was 
Susceptibility. Thanks only to those qualities (differing 
from the sensitiveness of inanimate matter, the highest 
expression of which is the instrument of precision of the 
physicist) which zoology calls sensibility or irritability, can 
the living monad maintain its identity in the face of an over- 
powering surrounding world. And with first man, sensi- 
bility and irritability must needs have been of extraordinary 
acuteness, for he was naked and without arms, and could not 
defend himself either by means of unlimited physical adapta- 
bility and capacity of metamorphosis, such as belongs to the 
lower animals, nor like the snake by means of tenacity and 
inertia : the peculiar law of his nature posited openness to 
the world of a being isolated as a body. Thus, psychical 
sensitiveness had continually to create, regulate and main- 
tain the needed equilibrium between the inner and outer 
worlds. Adult intellect first created anything comparable 
to animal armour; that is, rigid formations which were not 
of a nature to endanger, but to sustain and protect. 

But ages went by before intellect grew out of the root of 
primary sensitiveness.* And primary sensitiveness was 

* There is no English equivalent for the German word 'Empfindung' 
as opposed to 'Gefuhl' (emotion). Technically, 'Empfindung' is 'sensation*. 
But this word is hardly used in common language. The most usual word 
'feeling' which very often corresponds to the German 'Empfindung' (f.i. 
hurt one's feelings) is too indefinite for the subtler distinctions of this chapter. 
Therefore, I have no choice but to use different words for 'Empfindung' and 
'Empfindlichkeit' according to the context: susceptibility, sensitiveness, 
sensibility, impressionability, feeling etc. Similarly, in the following chapter 
I shall sometimes have to use 'feeling' instead of 'emotion'. Translators note. 

207 



208 EIGHTH MEDITATION 

the womb of all differentiated psychism. First, man was 
sensitive, vulnerable and excitable generally; and then only 
could the question arise to what, and to what in the first 
place he was sensitive ; whether to hunger, honour or guilt. 
The first distinction between Good and Evil coincided with 
the discrimination between things that wound or do not 
wound; the first differentiation between things beautiful 
and ugly coincides with the distinction between things 
attractive or repulsive. For Gana-life is passive; it lacks 
all initiative, it re-acts only. 

Hence follows the opposite of what people generally 
think: that nearness to nature and delicacy of feeling nor- 
mally co-exist. The healthy body reacts with greater accu- 
racy, precision and promptitude than the most subtle mind. 
The more consciousness has it focus in the sphere of feeling, 
the sharper its perceptive power for all shades of difference 
between impressions which wound or .do not wound. In- 
tentionally I speak of the latter impression in its negative 
instead of its positive aspect, because on all planes sensitive- 
ness to pain originally outweighs the susceptibility to joy, 
just as there is no acute bodily joy which can balance acute 
bodily pain. And the reason is the same on all planes : sensi- 
tiveness to pain is a safeguard, whereas surrender to enjoy- 
ment endangers. True, there are crude and callous primi- 
tives. But with these it is not a case of a primordial state, but 
of differentiated products of adaptation, be it to inordinate 
heat or inordinate cold or any other kind of hardship, which 
on the one had make insensibility, on the other, a surplus 
of primary energy a condition of survival. Exclusively 
determinant masculinity also means a differentiated product 
of adaptation; it always conditions barbarization ; here 
Sparta remains the universally human prototype. Crudeness 
and obtuseness are furthermore characteristic for certain 
end-states of dead-lock or degeneration. Thus, according 
to Schramme, most varieties of animals and plants died out 



DELICADEZA 209 

after having reached a maximum of ossification or other 
kind of induration, which made them lose their sensibility and 
capacity of metamorphosis. On the other hand, races formed 
by unfavourable conditions of life which, for that reason, were 
first crude and obtuse, have almost without exception emerged 
as the most progressive. They had to create by means of 
mental activity that equilibrium between themselves and 
nature which races born in more propitious environments 
possess from the outset. Hence the cultural importance 
of the northern or mountain races, such as the founders of 
the Inca and the Aztek estates ; northern latitude and altitude 
have a similar biological significance. Hence also the im- 
portance of the desert races ; and hence that of the Jews. This 
last example is particularly instructive in this connection. 
The reason why most other races do not like the Jews lies 
in their lack of delicacy; to put it roughly, their thick skin. 
This defect is a result of the circumstance that they have 
had to live too long under too adverse conditions, both phy- 
sical and moral. But this very fact is the root of their creative 
moralism and their intelligence. Nevertheless, even if all 
nations of high spirituality be the descendants of barbarians 
the barbarian is not the primitive as such but the man, who 
is more like the bear than the humming bird the primary 
characteristic of the primitive is not barbarianism, but sus- 
ceptibility ; assuredly the human race did not grow up in 
unfavourable, but in peculiarly propitious environments. 
The more primordial the conditions in correlation to which 
the type of a man was formed, the more exclusively does he 
live with and from out of sensibility. 

Let us at once consider the extremest exemplar of this 
state of things. All primitives, who are not crude and callous, 
shun clear expression. This is by no means due to mental 
deficiency : they have a quicker and better understanding for 
sousentendus, hints and allusions than intellectualized per- 
sons, and indeed the reading of all early writing and the com- 



2io EIGHTH MEDITATION 

prehension of every inarticulate language make higher 
demands upon the powers of combination, than does a way 
of expression which is clear in the European sense. The 
primitives' dread of the latter form of expression is simply 
due to the fear of being wounded. If now we remember that 
all that has been said about primitive susceptibility also applies 
to genuine women of whatever cultural status, we realize 
once more that in the beginning was woman, and not man. 
All true women are creatures of sensibility. All have more 
delicacy of feeling than men, and are in so far cleverer. All 
lack an original sense of spiritual connexions, whether intel- 
lectual or moral. With by far the greater number, 'Evil' is a 
secondary phenomenon. Supremely adaptable, they turn 
into that which corresponds to the situation, in which they 
find themselves. Women tied to men, who are incompatible 
with them, almost invariably change for the worse, a fact 
which has nothing whatever to do with morality, for the most 
brutal, violent and evil man, who is congenial to them, can 
make them good. The most refractory young fury can, in 
principle, be tamed by the right kind of man which un- 
fortunately no longer holds true of old ones, in whom the 
attitude has taken root. 

South American humanity provides the very best ex- 
ample of the co-existence of primitivity and refinement. It 
has its centre of experience in Gana; it reacts in all things in 
conformity with its laws. Accordingly, susceptibility is its 
basic motive. This results in an order of 'Good' and 'Evil' 
entirely devoid of all moral qualification. Whatever wounds, 
is ipso facto evil; whoever wounds, is guilty in the absolute 
sense. Resentment is the last resort, not only de facto, but de 
jure, and its instant ab-reaction belongs to the natural rights of 
man. South American resentment is by no means an expres- 
sion of weakness, as Nietzsche understood it, nor of repres- 
sion in the sense accepted by psycho-analysis ; both forms 
of resentment presuppose determination by spiritual motives; 



DELICADEZA 211 

what is operative here is comparison with a mental image. 
Nor is the South American feeling of being wounded a case 
of outraged honour or outraged sense of justice or the con- 
sciousness of actual injury; it is an immediate reaction of 
wounded susceptibility as such, just as the mimosa pudica 
reacts to touch. But since man is more keenly aware of what 
is disagreeable than of what is agreeable, the general impres- 
sion made by the soul-state of South America is one of con- 
stant guarding against danger, distrust and readiness to take 
offence, if not to retaliate. One may say that the general 
atmosphere is one of original fear refined to the subtlety 
of touch of a supreme artist. 

ALL fear demands a safeguard. Hence, in the re- 
lationship of man to man, the primacy of metaphor 
over straightforwardness, of etiquette over simple inter- 
course, of courtesy over frankness. Clear expression strikes 
primitive women as brutal. But this holds true of speech in 
the first instance, and not of actions. In the Argentine, a 
witty daughter of the land told me: you may do anything, 
as long as you say nothing. In principle, this is so wherever 
modern culture of frankness has not conquered the tradition 
of millennia. For since all immediate experience of man is 
of a psychological nature, and all intercourse between 
humans is, in the first instance, a communication from one 
soul to another, words cannot but mean more than actions. 
They are more wounding, they are more pleasing and 
gladdening. Kind words may compensate for the worst of 
injuries, because they overlay negative impressions with 
positive ones, a thing no payment of damages succeeds in 
doing. This, incidentally, shows up the monstrous coarse- 
ness of the modern spirit of the age, which considers an 
insult as repaired by adequate payment; whereas dignity 
can only demand either life (duel or vendetta) or a word of 
excuse, if the soul has been wounded; whoever can even 
dream of money as a compensation, manifests such obtuse- 



212 EIGHTH MEDITATION 

ness of feeling, that he deserves to be judged and treated as 
the Greeks dealt with their slaves. But even with men 
who are not bereft of all delicacy it is at bottom the same 
as with refined women, whether or not they are aware of the 
fact. Gravest provocations are borne without sense of 
injury, if only the outward forms are observed. The courte- 
ous nations, i.e. the nations who consider the feelings of 
others independently of prevailing conviction and judgment 
of value, have without an exception, under otherwise 
equal conditions, shown the greater power of attraction. 
Every man, first and foremost, is so strongly a creature of 
sensibility and irritability intentionally, I use again and 
again the terminus technicus of zoology that the right 
consideration for the sphere of sensation is the A and ft 
of the art of dealing with human beings. The English, who 
are so unscrupulous in their actions, on principle never 
use wounding words; personal remarks they avoid in every 
case, and they couch every assertion in terms as indefinite, 
and every demand in words as entreating as possible. 

The extreme expression of possible consideration for the 
susceptibility of others is incarnated in the unwritten law of 
Brazilian Delicadeza. In connexion with what has been said 
before, we shall arrive at the quickest understanding of its 
essence by a short appreciation of the Brazilian State 
machinery. There is no more exquisitely subtle machinery 
in the world than that of the Brazilian State; and not in the 
sense of being overripe, but of being genuinely progressive 
under archaic conditions. At first sight, Brazil bears a 
striking resemblance to Tzarist Russia which does not 
imply a negative judgment; backward and culturally non- 
homogenous peoples cannot be ruled according to the ideas 
of modern democracy. In both cases there is a country of 
immense vastness governed by a small minority; the latter 
culminates in one individual who is omnipotent as long 
as the term of his office lasts. The State machineryjs, as it 



DELICADEZA 213 

were, an independent Being; the Brazilian high official 
and that of Tzarist Russia resemble each other like two 
brothers. But Brazil appears perfect and secure on the same 
plane, on which Russia was imperfect and so highly 
vulnerable ; so much so, that after a few days spent in Brazil 
I said to myself: had Russia been governed like Brazil, 
the people would never have risen in revolt. Where Russia 
was brutal, the most subtle and delicate considerateness 
prevails in Brazil. Whatever might breed and nourish 
discontent, remains invisible one way or another; this applies 
foremost to the extremely efficient police. Public opinion 
is allowed to vent its feelings in words; many simple 
Brazilians think that there is no government at all. Only in 
ancient China's greatest days was government ever so 
imperceptible. The laws concerning women and children 
are exemplary, and so much active goodwill is extended to 
all who serve the State, that the poor feel under an obligation 
down to the third and fourth generation not only the 
children, even the grandchildren of faithful civil servants 
receive a state pension. More than any other, Brazilian 
government uses similar ways and means as does the 
diplomacy of the female. It relates everything within its 
sphere to primordial impulses and precisely this is the 
secret of its success. Primitive man resents unpleasant 
impressions only; accordingly, care is taken that he should 
never meet with such. If a humane conduct is observed 
in such cases, where even the cannibal practises humanity 
foremost with regard to women and children everybody 
is willing to blink facts. From here it does not seem difficult 
to understand the rationale even of the most strange and 
unusual expressions of Delicadeza. In Brazil everybody will 
understand a man who draws his pistol because of a single 
unfriendly glance. But on the other hand, if wounded 
feeling leaves room for reflexion, it is considered bad form 
to shoot a person from the front, since that might cause a 



214 EIGHTH MEDITATION 

disagreeable impression. To assassinate a man is considered 
nobler conduct than to fight a duel. The following story 
(which is authentic, although I cannot exactly remember 
whether it happened in Brazil or a neighbouring state) 
contains the most striking illustration of what Delicadeza 
means. A man had reason to be jealous of another man, 
who was his rival in the affections of his wife, and accordingly 
made up his mind to shoot him; an act which there falls 
under the head of the preservation of established rights 
(interfo bien entendu). The threatened man suspected this, 
and from that time on never went out unless accompanied 
by his wife and daughter. Delicadeza actually forbade his 
opponent, who was daily on the watch for him, to make a 
painful impression on the ladies by killing their husband 
and father before their very eyes. Thus months elapsed. 
Finally, the pursued man for once went out unattended. 
He was shot on the instant. The court brought in the 
perpetrator not guilty, instead of pronouncing him guilty 
of murder with malice prepense proven in several instances, 
and the public acclaimed him for his wondrous delicacy. 

The same attitude prevails throughout the community 
life of the entire continent, with the one exception of Chile, 
where a more or less 'Nordic* outlook predominates. It 
is in its own way a world which shuns the light, in so far as 
every sousentendu is instantly understood and rightly valued, 
whereas clarity is not misinterpreted only in exceptional 
cases. In subtle and refined Brazil, accordingly, 'showing 
ofF, the^/^, plays the determinant r6le. Here also lies the 
psychological root of the sharp discrimination made between 
what means personal dishonour and what does not, in the 
case of offences and crimes. Everything may happen, 
with the one exception of a scandal. The man who has 
been the object of a scandal is for ever done for. In the 
more primitive and simpler Argentine the hushing up of 
everything that is in any way loud leads to the verge of 



DELICADEZA 215 

permanent silence, or the mask of arrogance or of Macana 
(the kind of je-men-fichisme peculiar to the Argentine) or 
ultimately the choicest attire to equivalent effect. A witty 
Spaniard once said that in Buenos Aires with its wealth of 
monuments the most important of all was lacking: the 
monument of the Unknown Tailor. But thanks to the 
extreme development of susceptibility, which is a natural 
safeguard against tactlessness, and to the general wish not 
to wound, social life does not represent, even for the 
foreigner, a difficult task. In fact, for my part, I think, there 
is no society life better suited to the purpose of providing 
relaxation and repose than intercourse with people, to whom 
pleasant impressions and feelings mean everything. Ancient 
Chinese courtesy bordered too nearly on court etiquette. 
This is an objectified machinery for the purpose of main- 
taining a state of security. The king is supposed to be so 
vulnerable that every breach of the expected form might 
destroy his self-assurance; and this apprehension is justified, 
for the exalted height of the prince's position nourishes 
within his Unconscious a compensating urge to self- 
abasement.* Therefore, he is kept aloof by such rigid rules 
that nothing unforeseen can imperil his bearing. But there- 
with falls what is most enchanting in all courtesy: that 
spontaneity which adapts itself ever anew to every situation. 
French courtoisie is guided by and conforms to ideas and 
values, and is therefore as much determined by spirit as 
by sentiment; for this reason it essentially both demands 
and is attention, or rather attentiveness ; but attention 
wearies. South American Delicadeza is practised in a state 
of complete relaxation, and yet reacts with such precision, 
that one moves unless some disconcerting moment 
interferes as though within frictionless space. Here, 
a natural way of letting oneself go, without spiritual 

* Cf. the explanations given of this fact in the chapter 'The Problem of 
Happiness' in 'The Recovery of Truth". 



216 EIGHTH MEDITATION 

motives, judgments of value nor moral postulates leads to 
similar harmony as does, in other civilizations, the most 
spiritual discipline become flesh. This is obviously due to 
the influence of the continent. Neither the Spaniards nor 
the Portuguese have this kind of Delicadeza. The Spaniards 
ever were and still are humanly warm and kind, but they 
are far too individualistic and far too isolated in their 
inward life to be primarily considerate. Whereas the 
Portuguese, from whom the word Delicadeza as the Brazil- 
ians understand it, is derived, are complicated, torn and 
explosive, a fact which renders impossible all delicate 
attentiveness and the light play on the instrument of the 
impressions and feelings. But the same Delicadeza which 
belongs to the present day South Americans of European 
extraction always was one of the virtues of the Indians. All 
their tribes, apart from the Sibirian-like Araucans and 
ungifted or degenerate races, were and are characterized by 
a peculiar refinement and sweetness. They are never un- 
courteous, never coarse. It speaks volumes that in many 
Indian tongues there is but one word for Beauty and 
Happiness. And an equal refinement of feeling is proven 
by the legendary explanation the Brazilian Indians give for 
the White Man's victory: God had tendered two swords, 
one made of iron and the other of wood, for choice to the 
White and the Red man: the Red man chose the wooden 
sword, because it was the more beautiful . . . The high cul- 
tures of the Indians were of a peculiar humanity for which, 
as far as I know, there are no parallels. In the territory of 
what is to-day the desert of Santiago del Estero in the 
Argentine, there flourished in days of old a wondrous 
civilization. There, the archaeologist during his excavations 
most frequently comes upon the Divine Hand which healeth 
and sootheth, as the symbol of the Divine. It is the hand of 
a goddess who, as a complete figure, is represented as weep- 
ing for the woes of mankind, her tears dropping upon 



DELICADEZA 217 

her breasts and, turning into milk, trickling down to 
fertilize the earth. The compassion thus portrayed obviously 
is neither the virtue that delights in giving of the Greeks, 
nor Christian nor Buddhistic love she simply would soften 
painful sensations and impressions. Even so, the social 
order of the Incas, which otherwise surpassed the regime 
of the Bolsheviks in its coerciveness, inflexibility, consis- 
tency and complete exploitation of the individual for the 
benefit of the whole, was characterized by a considerateness 
of unique delicacy. When the fields were tilled according 
to the collective compulsory system, the part belonging to 
the Sun was begun upon, then followed the portion allotted 
to those who were helpless, sick and far away from home; 
for instance, fighting in the army for their country; last of 
all the field of the ruler was prepared for the crops. Nobody 
was ever overtasked. None was allowed to have cares. If a 
man stole, and it was ascertained that he did so from want, 
not he was punished, but the state official who through 
neglect of duty had occasioned the misdemeanour. Laziness 
and sloth, considered as sin and vice, were not tolerated. 
But on the other hand, every possible means was used 
to enhance the joy of work. And now to mention the most 
delicately refined trait: after the death of every Inca the 
greatest of the land sat in judgment on him and decided 
the question, as to whether he had been a good and a worthy 
prince. If the decision was unfavourable, he was 'killed 
by silence'. He was struck from the annals. No harsh 
word was uttered. Just so, the South Americans cease to 
speak, wherever Europeans would raise their voices or scold. 
They would rather kill than use offensive language. The 
other South Americans hold that the Argentines are 
quarrelsome, noisy and coarse; yet even their visible life is 
essentially subdued, una vida a la sordina. There is no lack 
of elementary force in them, and this would readily explode. 
At bottom, many of them are savages. But their aversion to 



218 EIGHTH MEDITATION ' 

disagreeable impressions, for themselves and for others, is 
so extreme that, but for rare exceptions, they restrain 
themselves in their own country, and only let themselves 
go abroad. 

All this delicacy rests on the primacy of susceptibility. 
And the fact that it is indeed possible to rise, from out of 
this root, to heights is proven by the views and thoughts 
of many a great spirit. San Francisco de Assissi once said : 
'Sappi y frate carissimo, que la cortesia 6 una delle proprieta 
de Dio> il quale da il sole suo e la piova at giusfi ed agli 
ingiustiper cortesia. Ed I la cortesia sirochia della caritd^ 
la quale spegne fodio e conserva famore* *Confucius 
recognized only him as profound, whose wisdom was 
sublimated to charm, and none attached greater importance 
to rites than the great sage of China. Last not least, Goethe's 
appreciation of reverence as the sublimest virtue is well- 
known but reverence cannot be imagined without an 
immediate feeling for quality. But I do not intend to follow 
up here this trend of thought. Here is the right psycholo- 
gical moment to turn our attention to the negative corre- 
lation of South American refinement. Since it is devoid of 
spirit-born motives, every feeling can unrestrainedly turn 
into its direct opposite. If South American susceptibility 
is wounded, a counter-reaction as differentiated and sensitive 
is the result; owing to the passivity and tenacity of Gana-life, 
it more often takes on the form of resentment than of swift 
retaliation. And since in this life pain predominates, it 
remains true that South America is the continent of sus- 
ceptibility, and not of considerateness. A culture of con- 
siderateness like in Japan does not exist there, because the 
power of imagination and spiritual initiative which might 
create it, are underdeveloped; there is nought but subtly 

* 'Know then, beloved brother, that courtesy is one of the qualities of God, 
who giveth His sun and His rain unto the just and the unjust all for courtesy. 
And courtesy is verily the sister of Charity which leaveth out Hate and pre- 
serveth Love.' 



DELICADEZA 219 

refined nature. But culture is absolutely dependent on 
discipline. Thus, to South American sweetness corre- 
sponds, in accordance with the law of polarity, a cruelty 
equally delicate and refined. Cruelty is delicacy in the 
manner, in which human beings are made to suffer; accord- 
ingly, it is originally characteristic of woman, and not of 
man. The Indians were exquisitely cruel. The husband 
of that sweet goddess of the desert of Santiago del Estero, 
which we have described above, was a vampire-like creature; 
it belongs to the most horrible incarnations of Evil I have 
ever seen. Thus, many gods of South American antiquity 
resemble those fearful dream-figures, the interpretation of 
which is the daily task of the psycho-analyst they are 
incarnations of various psychological states: the feeling 
of being persecuted produces such images; so does the 
dread of things repulsive, and impotent desire for revenge. 
It is this which makes South Americans with ugly souls 
remember the compadritos so particularly abhorrent: the 
contrast image of the absolutely pleasing is the absolutely 
repulsive. 

If sensitiveness turns into its direct opposite, it becomes 
absolute lack of all feeling. This results in complete 
imperviousness to the sufferings of others, absolute want 
of sympathy, unparalleled imporosity. It has no parallel, 
because the man or woman exclusively determined by Gana 
is devoid of all power of imagination. This explains the 
strange co-existence of apathy and refined and subtle cruelty 
among highly cultured Indians. When looking at the 
problem from South America, I learnt to understand the 
peculiar expression of the Chinese and Japanese. As 
soon as a flash of negative emotion kindles their generally so 
perfectly controlled features, they appear repulsively ugly 
and evil. The reason is that they are men of susceptibility,* 

* This may be due to racial causes. The South American Indians impress 
one as being almost pure Mongols. 



2ao EIGHTH MEDITATION 

and in so far incarnate the basic polarity of sweetness-cruelty. 
Only in the case of the Far-Eastern nations, this nature is 
governed and permeated by spirit; hence they have virtues 
the Continent of the Third Day of Creation does not yet 
know. But the Far East too is devoid of sympathy, which is 
the imagination of the heart. There, too, the basic motive is 
Delicadeza. Methinks: from here we can also understand 
that strange mixture of hardness and subtlety belonging to 
most of the figures of myth and fairy-tale, who are so far 
more comprehensible to children than grown-ups. The 
hardness and coldness is a result of lack of imagination, 
of the spirit as well as the heart. To them, the death of 
others means very much the same as being forgotten. 
Vindictiveness, however, is an expression not of imaginative 
power, but of memory, that quality inherent in all matter. 
Memory is the better, the more tenacious and impassive 
the stamp of man. Hence Indian revengefulness. South 
Americans of European blood and equal sensibility are 
less vindictive in proportion to their greater mobility; 
they can forget. The Chinese and Japanese incarnate a 
life centred in Delicadeza within the framework of supreme 
culture. The Japanese culture is one of almost pure sus- 
ceptibility. Hence its delicate bloom, but hence also its 
coldness; the Japanese, too, have something of the snake. 
In China, the commands of Delicadeza have become the 
pillars of a grand philosophy. Hence the command that 
one should save one's face at any cost, that one should 
not re-act; hence the theory that the soft is stronger than 
the hard. All susceptibility is passive. Thus, it is only 
logical that the philosophy of a race of susceptibility and 
sensitive feeling should state that a beggar, ill-treated by a 
king, will presently as a matter of natural evolution advance 
to the position of the king, if only he betrays none of his 
feelings and suffers in a manner true to significance. Thus 
it is profoundly significant that the solution of most of the 



DELICADEZA 221 

problems of life in China is sought and found in the neutral- 
izing of susceptibility: the problem is transposed on to 
some plane of unreality, and so dismissed. The one course 
absolutely barred and forbidden is direct reaction. For 
this is impossible without wounding susceptibility. 

The normal form of corruption of all delicacy of feeling is 
perversion. The Indians of the tropic zone, in particular, 
were initiate in every sexual perversion, every depravity, 
when the European came to his shores. It is also of sym- 
bolic significance that what was then called the 'Spanish 
plague* came from the New World to encroach upon the 
Old. Accordingly, the present day South American is 
supremely subtle as a sexual being; of no other kind of man 
have I ever heard women 'used to love of man' (Goethe) 
talk with so much enthusiasm as of the Brazilian ; and again 
it is symptomatic fact that the Chinese too is said to be 
irresistible for those who know him . . . But this so 
wondrously sensitive world is, on the other hand, cold. 
The sphere of sensibility is not the sphere of the heart. 
Detached sensuality is cold. Revenge is sweet, but cold. 
Cruelty, too, is cold. All pure susceptibility is cold. Thus, 
the South American sweetness and considerateness does 
not mean warmth. What seems to be warmth, is in reality 
the need of warmth ; thus, the lizard seeks the sun. Hence 
the typical coldness of those women, who most excite and 
disturb men. 

WE are now in a position to gain a better understanding 
of a recognition we have several times already touched 
upon: that in the beginning was not Truth, but the Lie. 
In the beginning, indeed, was not Courage, but Fear; and 
therewith accepted and emphasized susceptibility. And if 
the first question which presents itself is whether an 
impression wounds or not, then truthfulness can be neither 
Law nor Ideal. Thus, primitive tribes begin by teaching 
their children to tell the untruth, for an open explanation 



222 EIGHTH MEDITATION 

may entail danger. Not the man, who finds out the truth, 
is primarily held to be intelligent, but he who is the most 
skilled in playing on the instrument of other peoples' 
feelings and emotions. Frobenius recently found a new and 
instructive illustration of this fact in the standard of intelli- 
gence accepted by the negroes:* with one tribe, the ideal of 
cleverness was incarnated by the man who was the most 
successful in cheating his father-in-law. The same point of 
view is echoed in the Hebrew myth of the patriarch Jacob, 
and in the Greek tale of the versatile Ulysses. We started, 
in this meditation, not from a study of the Lie, but of 
Courtesy. And this led us to stress the positive aspect of a 
world of determinant Delicadeza, whatever its reverse. 
But, from here, we can also penetrate more deeply into the 
positive meaning of original 'Evil'. Women are not only 
the deceitful, but also the beautiful sex. Dissimulation is 
not only the root of cunning reserve and treachery, but 
also of considerateness. The roots of revenge and cruelty 
are equally those of compassion. Therefore, Beauty must 
needs bloom forth directly out of the netherworld, and 
from another root than Truth. Plato, that great under- 
stander of Beauty, divined this; he recognized that the 
Socratic equation stating that whatever is beautiful must 
perforce also be good and true, is not correct. Accordingly, 
in his later days of fanatical truth-seeking he meditated 
banishing art and its servants from his state. Christianity, 
too, dimly perceived the true connexion. Hence it was 
hostile, in its radical early period, to Woman and Beauty. 
And perplexed by the fact that Love and selfless Service 
and Suffering are at the root precisely of woman's nature, it 
introduced the element of ascetic hardness wherever it 
was expected to recognize values. And it was the right 
instinct which prompted it so to do, for with the demand of 
hardness it tacitly eliminated the sensitive sphere from its 
* Cf. his book Erythraca. 



DELICADEZA 223 

accepted world of values. Only spiritual as opposed to 
natural love should exist, only discipline as opposed to 
self-indulgence, only confession of sins or mutual exhorta- 
tion in the place of consideration for that which pleases. 

In the long run, this depreciation of all beauty could not 
be maintained, and thus the Fathers of the Eastern Church, 
as the sons of an original race of beauty-lovers, re-asserted 
the Socratic equation, though not as a determination of 
what is, but as supreme Command and Ideal; Beauty, 
Truth and Love should be one. Soon the Christian ideal 
became so sensualized, that for Saints the odour of sanctity 
was demanded; nay, it was even expected that perfume 
instead of stench should pervade their corrupting bodies. 
But Christianity never gained an understanding true to 
significance or fact. Nor has any such understanding been 
reached hitherto by any philosophy of Christian lineage. 
The truth we have to accept, whether we like it or not, 
is this: the most exquisite perfumes are made out of the 
elements of putrefaction. The earth, from which the 
loveliest flowers are to bloom forth, must be dunged. Dis- 
simulation is the root of all that is pleasing to the senses and 
feelings in human intercourse. In so far Beauty is the daugh- 
ter of Falsehood and Ugliness, and in so far of Evil. In order 
that Beauty arise on earth, the first question to ask must be, 
not what is good and true, but what is wounding or not to 
the sensations and feelings. The fear of being hurt primarily 
leads to dissimulation, and the fear to hurt to politeness, 
which veils and conceals. Hence the glittering beauty, 
which means Falsehood, of the products of the Third Day 
of Creation, wherever they are not frankly ugly. The most 
beautiful flowers and reptiles are venomous, the most 
seductive women treacherous. 

And yet all this in no wise tells against the purely and 
absolutely positive aspect of the world of Beauty. Recent 
psychological research has ascertained that in the life of 



224 EIGHTH MEDITATION 

dream beauty means the fact of 'being attracted'. Originally 
the beautiful is indeed that which causes pleasing sensations. 
This then compels us to assume the existence of a funda- 
mental contrast between Truth and Beauty. A world is, at 
its roots, determined either by Truth or by Beauty. Thus, 
the Greek was as great a liar by nature as is the South 
American. Thus, in the most cultivated circles of the old 
Orient it is considered reprehensible, in the presence of 
one's guest, even to think what might not be pleasing to 
him. This is the real and positive significance of what the 
European calls Oriental deceitfulness. In the case of the 
Chinese he ought long since to have known better, for as a 
trader the former is more honest and dependable than the 
Occidental; the same holds true in the case of the so essenti- 
ally noble and generous Turc. It is highly significant that 
the first re-birth of the spirit of Antiquity, which came to pass 
in Provence, should have taken place in the sign of Beauty 
in avowed opposition to all Christian metaphysics, and con- 
comitantly, to Truth as it was understood then. Provence 
held cortezia to be the supreme value. And actually all 
culture of the Nordic barbarians originates from the 
supremacy of this quality. In what measure Beauty may 
be a primary value is also proven by the Greek formula *aXo? 
Kaya 0o?, the adjective 'beautiful' taking precedence. Once, 
in the Plaza Hotel in Buenos Aires, when, as so often hap- 
pened, I was asked by strangers with that spontaneous 
cordiality so characteristic of the Argentine to dine at their 
table, a lady told me how she had never hitherto consciously 
seen an American, and inquired whether I could show her 
one. I pointed out a good representative specimen seated 
near by. * Quefeo! 9 (how ugly) exclaimed the lady. Masculine 
beauty actually means almost as much to the women 
of South America as feminine beauty to all men. 

FROM here we can understand the significance and 
limitations of a world of determinant Truthfulness 



DELICADEZA 225 

better than when proceeding from the assumption we all 
unconsciously incarnate and do not, therefore, discuss. The 
race of beauty of the Greeks always designed the barbarians 
as ugly in their works of art. And it was no mere accident 
that the first fanatic of Truth in their midst, Socrates, should 
have been ugly; all the records of his friends echo the feeling 
that he could not possibly be otherwise. It is, again, when 
starting from the facts of South America that we most easily 
understand the general connexion. In South America, the 
Chilians have the reputation of being gente ruda^ that is brutal 
and coarse. The men there (with the sole exception of those 
belonging to the very highest ranks of society) actually are 
devoid of the Delicadeza typical of the continent (which the 
women, it is true, stress all the more). That popular cry of 
Viva Chile . . . mierdal seems strange and repulsive to all 
other South Americans. The men have an ugly look about 
the mouth similar to the expression of most of the Ugro- 
Finnish races. And among the lower classes, the rotos y with 
their strong admixture of Araucan blood, a real cult of the 
Ugly is practised. The rotos have no wish to be caballeros. 
Nonetheless, Chile too belongs to the soul-space of South 
America. This is proven by the existence of a kind of culture 
of ugliness which bears a likeness to that of the ancient 
Netherlands. Few things have remained imprinted on my 
memory with such plasticity as the spectacle of the Chilian 
fiesta national, because I naturally visualized it as standing 
out against the background of the general South American 
cult of beauty. No kermess ever painted by Teniers of 
Breughel bears so markedly the stamp of stylized ugliness as 
the reality of this feast. Most of the rotos live in abject pov- 
erty; they rarely have enough to eat. But for the national 
festival they save up whole basket loads of food which they 
take along to Santiago. And these, assisted by their wives 
and children, they empty within less than twenty-four hours, 
washing down the food they gorge with a sour, red wine, 



226 EIGHTH MEDITATION 

which they pour down their throats from immense glasses 
and the children always take active part. But the Cueca, 
which they one and all dance with orgiastic frenzy, surely is 
the ugliest of all national dances. The more grotesque the 
whirl, the more revolting-looking the dancers, in particular 
the more haggish and shrivelled the women, the truer to 
style its effect. The finale of the revel is of such wildness and 
savagery that troops of soldiery have to clear up a regular 
battlefield. Incredible numbers of wounded with ripped-up 
bellies and bowels hanging out are carried into the hospitals 
the succeeding night, so a Chilian doctor, who was my com- 
panion, told me, and incredible numbers of these recover. 

Yet what I have here described in its extreme expression 
characterizes but one aspect of the Chilian soul. On the 
other hand, the Chilians are of all South Americans endowed 
with by far the strongest character. They are also gente ruda 
in the sense that they are less untruthful, less dissembling and 
deceptive, less inclined to promise what they have no inten- 
tion to keep. They are as straightforward and frank as the 
Spirit of the Continent admits of their being. They are 
first rate soldiers. The contrast between them and the other 
South Americans gave me a final understanding of the reason 
why women think clear and direct expression brutal. Every 
world of determinant truthfulness, viewed from a world of 
determinant Delicadeza, is brutal. For its root lies in lack 
of consideration for all impressions and feelings, in open 
agressiveness. This is why the founders of all civilizations 
based on truth were either renegades of beauty, or else 
originally brutal characters, or finally devoid of sensitiveness 
for other reasons. The root of the Greek search for Truth 
is doubtless to be found in the decomposition of their world 
of beauty. Socrates probably owed his inner adjustment and 
his character to his Thracian (Russian?) mother. Plato 
was a true renegade; as a fanatic of Truth he was the grave- 
digger of Greek culture in a similar sense as Leo Tolstoy 



DELICADEZA 227 

has been the father of Bolshevism. The fact that the Greeks 
are primarily significant to us as thinkers is a result of the 
circumstance that the Nordic races, who since then have 
taken the lead, have been able to perpetuate and increase 
only their heritage of thought and knowledge. Now, these 
Nordics, whose characteristic qualities are the roots of 
Europeanism, were originally genuine barbarians; they 
were bears as opposed to the humming bird. They stood 
to the Greeks in very much the same relationship as the 
Chilians to the Brazilians. Their robustness and brutality 
and thence resulting agressiveness made it physiologically 
possible for them to lay the stress on truthfulness and straight- 
forwardness. In so far and only in so far, has Nordic blood 
been operative within most of the high cultures on earth; 
thus, at all events, in the case of the Hindus and Chinese (a 
clear distinction should be made between Nordic and Aryan 
blood: there is a Nordic type also among the Mongols, 
whatever this may mean from the standpoint of race). The 
third case is best illustrated by the Jews. Already thousands 
of years ago, they were singularly insensitive and ugly. This 
enabled them to lay the stress on Logos and Ethos with 
unique singleness of mind and purpose. The monstrous one- 
sidedness of their moralism was possible only on the basis 
of an absolute lack of Delicadeza. 

Yet, with the distinction between worlds of Truth and 
worlds of Beauty, even from the viewpoint of and with re- 
gards to the earth, the last word has not been spoken. If 
woman thinks the direct and clear ways of man on the one 
hand brutal, on the other, she desires him to be aggressive; 
she admires his warriorship; indeed, her masculine ideal 
is the hero of the open fight; she does not really want man 
to understand every sousentendu. Clear expression has upon 
her an erotically stimulating effect. If, on the one hand, she 
loathes brutality, on the other, she desires to be violated. 
Thus, ultimately, the roots of Beauty and Truth in all pro- 



228 EIGHTH MEDITATION 

bability represent a case of polar correspondences, which are 
not indeed identical with 'masculine 9 and 'feminine', but 
reflect this correspondence in a modified and transmuted 
form. And if Susceptibility is there prior to Truthfulness, 
this is but one more proof of the fact that in the beginning 
was woman, and not man. From here we can reach, it would 
seem to me, a final and conclusive insight into the earthly 
foundations of the different possible cultures. If the cul- 
tures based on Truth arise from original Brutality, those of 
Beauty are rooted in the Lie. And if the former have their 
roots on the same plane in Courage, and the latter in Fear, 
no moral judgment of values should be passed: Original 
Fear is the root of as many positive results as Courage. It 
is a fact demanding no proofs that the courageous have made 
the most havoc on earth. One may indeed pass absolute 
judgments of value but not on the plane and level we are 
here considering, nor from the point of vantage on which we 
have taken up our position. Worlds of pure and exclusive 
Truth are crude and brutal from the viewpoint of sensitive 
feeling, worlds of beauty seldom stand the test of moral and 
spiritual demands. A world of Brazilian Delicadeza is no 
more ideal than one of Chilian Rudeza. There is no direct 
road leading from delicacy of feeling to truthfulness and to 
morality, and none from these to beauty. Yet the roots of 
these virtues and values are organically connected. There- 
fore, there are original links between all; no nation is one- 
sided in the literal sense of the word; each at some point 
draws from a source which is not its primary wellspring, 
and spirit-born blendings are possible always and every- 
where. Thus, the most perfect humans have been those, 
who were rooted profoundly in the deeps both of Beauty and 
Truth, and incarnated in their highest expressions a syn- 
thesis of the ideals of both. During one of his exploring ex- 
peditions in the east of Asia Sir Aurel Stein chanced upon 
a tribe of the steppes which for thousands of years had led so 



DELICADEZA 229 

isolated an existence that it had not become aware of the fact 
that in the meanwhile anything worthy of note had occurred. 
It had not yet heard of the fall of ancient Rome. It was of 
the opinion that there were two great Empires : Rome, which 
stood for law and order, and China, which stood for Beauty. 
The Roman world was essentially one of Truth and Courage; 
to the Greeks it could not but appear thoroughly barbaric, 
until it had been hellenized. Nonetheless, it created purely 
out of itself an instrument, which has its physiological founda- 
tions in Delicadeza: Law. Formal law is the child of the Lie, 
not of Truth. It proceeds from fictions, it endeavours to 
catch reality in a net of fictions, and to stretch it finally into 
a framework of such fictions. It is not true that there exists 
a necessary equation between justice and law. This is why 
the twister is the prototype of the lawyer in the same sense 
that the impostor is the model of the diplomat. Like him, 
the man of law is inconceivable without the gifts of the actor. 
If he indentifies himself completely with his role, it is profit- 
able to his professional activities, but surely tells against his 
understanding; the judge, who, from out of ethical pathos, 
inflicts penalties based on legal paragraphs, is really the 
counter-ape of the seducer. Thus, it is not to be wondered 
at that Brazil is becoming ever more 'legal-minded* and in 
so far Roman, whereas Germany feels increasingly con- 
science-stricken in the application of all merely formal law. 
Ancient China in its zenith really was, in accordance with 
the tradition of that race of the steppes, a nation of almost 
pure beauty-lovers. Its entire culture was rooted in delicacy 
of feeling. Beautiful form, as opposed to reality was its soul. 
To control one's features was thought more important than 
all fact. The warrior had no prestige; he was regarded 
merely as tactless and brutal. But a profound sense of cos- 
mic connexions from out of spirit, although aesthetically 
founded and qualified, led to a synthesis, thanks to which the 
culture of ancient China stands forth as probably the most 



2 3 o EIGHTH MEDITATION 

complete and integral culture hitherto created. -^Esthetic 
perfection was postulated as common denominator also for 
Goodness and Truth. And this is indeed possible, not- 
withstanding the difference of their roots, because perfection 
of expression is the last word of every earthly perfection. 
Thus, in China the will to Truth and moral striving could 
live themselves out in a manner true to their own meaning 
within the unified frame of an aesthetic life-style. 

In South America tendencies towards a native and orig- 
inal world philosophy are already to be found. It rests 
on the primacy of Delicadeza. The Argentine Leopoldo 
Lugones postulates for his country a culture of beauty 
Verging on the antique style* (Goethe); he was the first, 
as far as I know, to differentiate between cultures of Truth 
and of Beauty. But the most representative of South 
American thinkers is the Mexican Jos Vasconcelos. He 
would build up the integral civilization of the future, 
which he hopes for, on placer, on antojo : on what is pleasing, 
what one would like to do. El gusto, taste, according to 
him, will one day lead even to true eugenics. Ugly people 
will, in times to come, refuse to procreate. Vasconcelos 
distinguishes three periods: the first, which is the material- 
istic or militant era; this is followed by the intellectual or 
juridic age (V); but the goal is the spiritual or aesthetic 
period. 'The third period corresponds to the emotional con- 
ception of life ... it is ruled by the aesthetic sense, inef- 
fable feeling . . . Within this age action and behaviour 
will no longer be guided by poor reason which explains, 
but does not discover, but by creative emotion and convinc- 
ing joy . . . Then will people do what they like, not what 
they ought to do; then will they follow the lead of taste, not 
of the desires or of syllogisms/ I do not deny that a civiliza- 
tion founded on the emotional is possible, and that it would 
be a better thing than the mechanical civilization of our 
days. But whether or not he is aware of the fact, Vasconcelos 



DELICADEZA 231 

endeavours to shirk Spirit; he hopes to reach the ultimate 
heights by way of pure sensitiveness. Like a typical South 
American, he repudiates every idea of discipline and all 
criticism, all esprit de suite, all consistency and all pure sense 
of value. But on such premises even a purely aesthetic 
culture cannot be based, to say nothing of an integral one. 
In order that culture should emerge, Spirit must rule 
supreme. Vasconcelos' philosophy is, in the last analysis, 
one of blind Gana. And that means a self-contradiction. 

AND yet, and yet : has not South America, for the very 
reason of its limitations and weaknesses, a mission to 
fulfil in the world of man? While staying there, I often asked 
myself, whether a European cavalier of the ancien regime 
would have felt this world of determinant Delicadeza equally 
foreign as I did. The answer which first presented itself to 
my mind was: No. The man, to whom honour is of para- 
mount importance, and who would therefore sacrifice all 
other interests to it, must needs lay vital stress on suscepti- 
bility. And as a matter of fact, in its noblest aspects the 
chivalrous culture is Delicadeza-born ; its chief roots were 
the exclusive sense of beauty of Provence and the natural 
delicacy of feeling of the Arab. Into these natural qualities 
was in-built the spiritual principle of honour which repre- 
sents the extreme stressing of the value of the unique per- 
sonality, as the body suited to them ; for without the stress- 
ing of susceptibility a ruling sense of honour cannot exist. 
But then I was assailed by doubts. In the field of history, 
the sentence holds abolutely true: 'Ye shall know them by 
their fruits'. It is no accident which has made the European 
world of chivalry, in the course of progress, result in prob- 
ably the most honourless civilization of all ages. Nor, in 
the same connexion, are the brutality and unparalleled 
ugliness of the modern world in all its historically deter- 
minant phenomena accidental. The reason, on the one 
hand, lies in the centredness of our world in Truth, which is 



232 EIGHTH MEDITATION 

working itself out with ever increasing exclusiveness and 
onesidedness. Whoever desires truth and all the truth and 
nothing but the truth, must perforce become ever more 
brutal; he cannot help desiring, more and more, what is 
ugly, the deeper his insight penetrates; for the abysmal 
depths of all phenomena are ugly. He must ultimately con- 
sent to Lies and Cruelty as positive values, as do the Bol- 
sheviks; for all policy of power is evil, and cannot but be 
evil ; and the more truthful a politician, the more if he 
inwardly consents to what he has to do must he perforce 
also accept the technique of his profession. But first and 
foremost, the reason why Europe is evolving from Beauty 
in the direction of Ugliness lies in the onesided activism of 
our world. Every culture of Beauty presupposes the primacy 
of sensitiveness and therefore of a passive attitude ; hence 
the fact that the world of Woman is physiologically ruled 
by the Spirit of Beauty. If a being is of an- extreme activism, 
however sensitive it may be otherwise, the final result of its 
self-formation and representation must needs be ugly. 
Here, the conquering races of the East offer the best exem- 
plars ; a few centuries ago I should have cited the Mongols 
and the Turcs: to-day the Caucasians provide the best of 
illustrations, for the very reason that they are originally 
beautiful, and honour is paramount in their tradition. If 
they come to power, they prove the most brutal of all rulers ; 
what was true for centuries of Turkish Generals and satraps, 
in whose veins Circassian blood was predominant, applies 
in the highest degree to Stalin. His directness of aim and 
action is even more brutal than that of the Timurs and 
Dschinghis-Khans, because he has at his disposal all the 
means of power which have been created by modern intel- 
lect. Very likely, Asiatics of Stalin-like character will be 
held by posterity to be the completers of the scientific era, 
for a civilization of Truth demands lack of consideration, 
and only men hard, cold and strong, full of will-power and 



DELICADEZA 233 

active energy, such as are to be found among Asiatics alone, 
are capable of perfect and utter lack of considerateness. For 
it implies a complete misconception of the facts to think of 
Western civilization of straightforwardness and truthfulness 
as founded on the abstract significance of striving for know- 
ledge. If the West has invented striving for Truth for its 
own sake; if the West has raised it to the eminence of a 
power in history, on the other hand it is only a very small 
number of its sons which has created this work ; disinterested- 
ness is far more frequent in the more contemplative East. 
Not pure, but applied science, knowledge as a tool of the will 
to power is a general characteristic of the West. Accord- 
ingly the root of Occidentalism is its activism and its wordly 
might. In so far the conquering Asiatics are its predestined 
executors, which means no more nor less than that the original 
fact is ultimately brought to the fore, namely that Europe 
is a peninsula on the edge of Asia. Compared with modern 
Russia growing Asiatized, North America makes a fragile 
impression, for its stength lies not at all in its human beings, 
but in its machinery ; Germany appears weak, because it under- 
stands all things, and therefore sees all things in their mutual 
relations, England wavering and unstable, because it is too 
ready to compromise, and France too much tied by facts and 
tradition as to be capable of the percussive force, which lies 
in the momentum of modern activism. If we consider the 
state of things from this angle, there can be no doubt that 
Soviet-Russia represents the completion and perfection of that 
evolution which began in Europe in the eighteenth century. 
The stress it lays on what is lowest and basest is the extreme 
expression of intellectually determined culture of Truth : if 
the standards of analytical science alone, not those of pre- 
supposed spiritual values, are considered as valid, then the 
lowest is indeed that which ultimately counts and decides. 
And this the Freudian school of psycho-analysis, a child 
of the same spirit, asserts to be true. Then also mass is more 



234 EIGHTH MEDITATION 

than personality, because only that which can be compared, 
not the incomparable, counts in this court; and the con- 
cepts of 'more' and Mess' may only be interpreted in terms of 
quantity. 

But it is clear, nevertheless, that neither the materialism 
of Bolshevism, nor its collectivism, nor above all its Satanism 
are true to our profoundest and most essential aspirations. 
And this single consideration suffices to refute the assertion 
of the absolute value of a one-sided culture of Truth and 
Activity. More than this : the same is true of all onesided 
mental culture. However contrary to sense it is to represent 
mind as such as the 'enemy of the soul' if its initiative 
holds the absolute mastery of things, it does not turn earth 
into heaven, as precisely Bolshevism had hoped it would, 
it changes it into hell ; the Russian Revolution is a more mag- 
nificent confirmation of the truth of the myth of Lucifer 
than any event of ancient history. Precisely then does the 
spirit of the netherworld gain supreme predominance. The 
possibility of this enantiodromia (turn into the opposite) pro- 
vides conclusive proof of the fact that the upper- and the 
nether-worlds are organically connected. And hence it seems 
to follow that precisely the lack of intellectuality and the pas- 
sivity of South America, at this turning point, may have a mission 
for all mankind. 

Only from out of the willing acceptance of sensitiveness 
and its high culture is an apokastasis of the forces of the soul 
possible in this age of an exaggerated active energy, and 
thence a new culture of Beauty. Neither a religious revival 
nor any other kind of spirituality can effect this change, to 
say nothing of intellectual criticism, which is the only thing 
the present-day champions of the soul in Europe are prac- 
tising with any show of success. For it is not a question of 
refuting spirit, nor of changing the hitherto existing forms 
of spirituality, nor of finding a new definition of the other 
forces of the soul, it is a question of the latter's real re-incar- 



DELICADEZA 235 

nation into life from out of their real roots, which are others 
than those of spirit and subject to other laws, and which 
follow other laws and norms of order. South America has, 
above all, taught me one thing which I should never have 
expected to be a possible result of my philosophic reflections: 
to doubt the absolute and exclusive value of the search for 
Truth. Even the highest and purest spirituality of former 
ages was not essentially, and at any rate, not exclusively the 
will to Truth. In Europe, down to the eighteenth century 
the Ultimate Truth was held to be 'given in advance' : on the 
one hand, it was to be forced on people, on the other to be 
believed, just as the teaching of Marx in Soviet-Russia, and 
the idea that supreme insight must needs confirm belief, 
can also be found in both cases. A determinate state of being 
was the goal of the will to Truth in India, a state of being 
certainly supremely spiritualized, but which had little or 
nothing to do with what we call knowledge of truth. Most 
of the highest spirituality of all ages has been operative on 
the plane of what I have defined as 'magic' in Figures Sym- 
boliques (Menschen als Sinnbilder)* and Creative Understand- 
ing, and in the domain of art in the second place, almost 
without an exception the goal was 'to add a new world to 
this world', as Goethe has it; not to comprehend the world 
of experience as it is. The ages of high religion, magic and 
art have indeed more often than not been activistic enough. 
But since their creative deeps were not exclusively the pene- 
trating urge to Truth and the violating impulse to rule, but 
also sensitiveness which is essentially passive and Gana-like, 
they could bring forth the most perfect flowers of integral 
humanity that have so far blossomed on earth. These 
blossoms have all withered away, and the plants on which 
they grew, have, if not already perished, at least lost most of 
their vitality. Therefore, what we need is something radically 

* There is no English edition of this book. The French has been published 
by the Librairie Stock, 7 rue du Vieux Colombier, Paris VI. 



236 EIGHTH MEDITATION 

new. Only, all historical progress proceeds counterpoint- 
wise; the road from one kind of onesidedness to wholeness 
ever goes by way of another compensating onesidedness, or 
at least by way of the polarization with such. It is here that 
I visualize a possible great mission for South America. The 
Argentine Ernesto Quesada has recently pointed out the 
possibility of the Indians and not the Russians being the 
successors of the West-Europeans as protagonists of history. 
The question is incorrectly put, for Russia's historical 
moment has already come. And it is highly improbable that 
it should not effect even greater metamorphoses by contact, 
than it has already produced. How are the masses to rise, 
unless they do so by virtue of extreme active energy, ex- 
treme brutality, religiously believed materialism, stressed 
hostility to quality and complete relinquishment of all 
beauty? Few things have impressed me more during the 
great Russian Revolution than the clear-sightedness of hate 
against all Beauty, which was active there. Even the coarsest 
and blindest Russian peasants desired truth and nothing 
but the truth, only in the sense of dogmatism on the one 
hand and naturalism on the other. And the North American 
man in the street differs but little from this. It is essentially 
the same whether the idea of Truth be understood in terms 
of abstract intellectualism as it is in Russia, or of pragmatism 
as it is in the United States. The latter differs from the 
former merely in this, that it recognizes only such truth as is 
tested by experience and useful; the vital standard is the 
same, for the same primordial forces nourish both urges. 

Wherever sensitiveness plays the determinant part, there 
can not only be no question of absolute truth nor of deter- 
minate truth as an absolute value: there can be none either 
of utility. Susceptibility can y among other things, serve as a 
means to security : but if it is determinant beyond the con- 
fines of the natural connexions as is originally the case with 
man, (hen it 49 more endangering than useful But suscepti- 



DELICADEZA 237 

bility alone leads to the satisfaction and bliss of that within 
man, which in its highest expression desires pure Beauty. 
Plato stood for culture of Beauty, not of Truth, when he 
taught that man must first love one beautiful body and then 
another and so on, until finally he is vouchsafed the Idea of 
Beauty. Moreover, within the body of determinant Delica- 
deza alone can the spiritual principle of honour become 
materialized without distortion : for the natural premise of 
the sense of honour also is vulnerability, and its ideal is per- 
fection in the aesthetic, not in the moral sense; he who 
fights for his honour, fights for the integral wholeness of his 
soul, and therewith for its beauty. 

Here then lies the great possible significance of the par- 
ticular race of man which peoples the South American 
continent. Precisely thanks to its lack of intellectuality and 
its primitiveness, which nevertheless is originally subtle, 
it may for the first time after long, long ages create an exclu- 
sive culture of Beauty which, acting as a polarisator for the rest 
of the world irresistibly growing ever more intellectual, might 
point out new possibilities and paths to all. South America 
is safe from the Russo- Asiatic onslaught. Towards the North 
American it stands in a natural attitude of defence ; necessarily 
it will increasingly deny that within itself, wherein North 
America is its superior, and will stress and cultivate that in 
which it feels unique. South America will surely no more 
become Americanized than Greece was ever Romanized. 
True, South American man appears weak, in so far as he is 
of a passive disposition. But not only is the weak and yield- 
ing stronger in the long run than the strong, in accordance 
with the Chinese doctrine, and, also, all masculine experience 
with women despite his activism, the 
is actually weaker than the former, for he 
most vital part of his nature.* Therefore, 
cultural future seems to me to be external 

* Cf. the chapter 'Morality' in the author's book ^ff * K'fo O I 




238 EIGHTH MEDITATION 

it is true, Spirit must descend upon this continent. It cannot 
produce an original culture true to its own style before. But 
all the conditions for its growth are there. It is possible, 
even probable, that the next rebirth of that spirit which once 
made possible the wonders of Greece, which rose again, 
first in Provence, then in the Italian Renaissance, and ulti- 
mately in the French culture of form which, alas, has 
already grown rigid that the next rebirth of that spirit 
will take place on South American soil ; for the salvation of 
all men, for the redemption of all from brutality. 



NINTH MEDITATION 



THE EMOTIONAL ORDER 



IT is perhaps the most marvellous of all marvels to intel- 
lect, that outside itself and its own sphere of power 
there should be order and, above all, a belonging together. 
This is no doubt the deepest meaning of the myth, that 
there was chaos, until God interfered. Hence the mystical 
idea of gravitation. Hence the tendency in all who proceed 
from reflection to rule as despots. All masculine bent to 
use forceful means originates here. To carry a point by 
force is a strictly logical process. To that extent the most 
primitive man, as opposed to woman, incarnates the prin- 
ciple of reason. Now the tendency to employ forceful 
measures grows, instead of diminishing, in proportion to a 
man's spirituality; for the purer the spirit which rules, 
the less does it acknowledge the existence of intermediate 
stages between significance and its realization. This is 
why extreme idealists as a rule are terrorists : they find it 
impossible to believe that there can be order from out of 
itself, as an expression of natural existence. Moreover, re- 
cognition and understanding have a compelling influence 
over them which they cannot escape; from this they draw 
the thoroughly logical conclusion that, where insight is 
lacking, pure compulsion alone can be of any avail. This 
applies even to the opponents of all force and violence : for 
what they desire is to force a state of peace and mutual 
tolerance upon the world. There is something touching 
in the fact that Gandhi and his like in all sincerity think 
themselves enemies of all compulsory measures, merely 
because they use passive, instead of active compulsion. 
Now a series of amusing paradoxes shows that the prejudice 
held by intellectual men is harmful also to knowledge; it 
prevents their seeing reality as it is. The first of these para- 
doxes lies in the fact that rational man who thinks he can 



242 NINTH MEDITATION 

generalize and deduce everywhere and judge separate things 
by proceeding from the whole, in his heart of hearts does 
not believe in the possible existence of a permanent order 
otherwise he would not by nature be a terrorist and yet 
demands such a permanent order and deems it the only thing 
true to Sense; here, he only does not contradict himself, 
who believes in the existence of a Beyond of Nature which 
he proposes to stamp upon the latter. The second of the 
paradoxes I wish to mention is this, that man who is so much 
in favour of order originally represents the wild and undis- 
ciplined, or at least the 'riotous' part of humanity; this 
state of things again is exaggerated in the intellectual or 
artistic type who, if he possibly can, by preference lives * in 
the midst of external disorder, who leads the life of a Bohe- 
mian and, where his principles forbid his living thus, 
safeguards himself against his own inclinations by taking 
refuge in some kind of monastery. For the absorption of the 
whole man in his profession also means a safeguard of this 
kind. As opposed to this, irrational woman always lives in 
the frame of some kind of order; as soon as she breaks away 
from it, she loses herself or else deteriorates. For her, to 
whom the laws imposed by reason mean so little, order 
and belonging together are matters of course ; and in her 
own circle she realizes both without using compulsion 
or violence. 

To me, in my youth, all belonging together and all order 
meant complete mysteries. Again and again, I expected to 
see all separate things break asunder, unless prevented by 
compulsion from without. This no doubt also explains that 
sense of relief which I felt even in my later and more philo- 
sophical days in the many revolutions I lived to witness. 
In the long run, I learnt to accept the fact that order does 
not necessarily mean order according to the laws of reason 
and intellect. But it was only in South America that I under- 
stood in what respect this is so. For there, the principle of 



THE EMOTIONAL ORDER 243 

reason plays no part worth mentioning even in the masculine 
world. Just a few examples to illustrate this. In South 
America the principle 'business is business* does not 
hold. People do not buy from the man who offers the best 
and cheapest goods, they buy from their friend. Friendship 
is so decisive there, that the representative of an important 
European firm told me he had a claim to a large sum of 
money, on the strength of which he would be sure to win a 
lawsuify but that he would not dream of insisting on his 
claims, for this would mean his losing all his friends; a 
result which in the long run would cost him dearer than the 
greatest loss he might suffer. To formulate this state 
of things in a way Europeans can understand: a mere 
contract in South America has a binding effect only 'without 
engagement' ; that is, if at the expiration of the contract 
the friendship has ceased to exist, it is felt as a lack of tact, 
if the partner continues to make demands on the grounds 
of existing arrangements. And in the long run, in however 
indirect ways, such lack of tact inevitably brings its punish- 
ment with it. 

What has been shown here first in its objective aspect, 
applies all the more to the personal sphere. People will do 
everything for a friend's sake; not only the enemy, but also 
the man for whom they feel nothing but indifference, is, as 
it were, outlawed. Only few observers notice that this is the 
real attitude of by far the greater number of South Americans, 
because of the prevailing friendliness and readiness to show 
sympathy, wherever sentiment suggests it. The boutade of a 
clever Brazilian may serve to illustrate the latter phenomenon. 
'I wish,' he said, 'that Bolshevism were established in Rio; 
and Bolshevism with expropriation ruthlessly carried through. 
For I bet that the day after a wave of sympathy for the ex- 
propriated would flood the whole of Brazil, and the Bolshevists 
would be the first to raise a collection for the benefit of their 
victims.' ^Jeither consciousness of duty nor value, nor under- 



244 NINTH MEDITATION 

standing of general needs and requirements decide on this 
continent. But as opposed to this real friendship, as long as it 
lasts, represents a perfectly reliable tie. However, but few 
friendly relationships last for ever. Emotions are subject to 
sudden changes ; the friend of to-day may turn into a mortal 
enemy to-morrow, and a subsequent reconciliation can again 
annul all dispositions made on the basis of yesterday's hos- 
tility. Moreover, emotions and feelings are not forces which 
work at long distances; they only bind the neighbour to 
his neighbour. Nor can anybody love or hate many people. 
If to this is added want of foresight and consistency, the 
logical result should be an entire lack of order. But, as a 
matter of fact, the order which holds together South Ameri- 
can life is firmer than that of the United States. Only this 
order is not rational, it is emotional. 

I might, of course, have realized even in Europe that 
there exists an order of this kind ; for with us, too, it can 
be found in intimate circles. But the important thing is 
that in South America great and modern nations live almost 
exclusively in accordance with its law. It was only thanks to 
this experience that I could understand. And when chance 
at the same time acquainted me with the latest discoveries 
of physical science, I saw that the emotional order, however 
contrary to the norms of intellect it may be, is more in accord 
with the general structure of the universe than the intellectual 
order. There is no placing absolute reliance on the laws of 
Nature either. Permanent states do not exist; nor is there 
everywhere that continuity which intellect postulates. 
Every now and again, one state, skipping intermediate 
stages, abruptly turns to another. There are no forces 
working at long ranges: what suggests the idea of their 
existence are the resultants of a practically infinite number of 
single events, all of which come to pass, as it were, in an inti- 
mate circle. Finally, the structure of the Universe is as a 
whole entirely different from what corresponds to the de- 



THE EMOTIONAL ORDER 245 

mands of intellect. And yet it has always been extolled for 
its exemplary order ! No wonder, under these circum- 
stances, that the existence of an entirely irrational, but all 
the firmer emotional order should be possible. The fact is 
that the over-intellectualized and all too moralistic first 
chroniclers of Creation have sowed almost more prejudice 
regarding the Order of Man into the minds of later genera- 
tions, than they did with regard to the Order of Nature. In 
the beginning was not Chaos, which had to be set in order 
from without; nor was there any kind of 'Should': every- 
where there existed a natural coherence of the Nearest , what- 
ever name one may give the laws ruling in each separate 
case. Thus, with man natural ties between those nearest 
each other precede all that we call 'order*. These ties endure 
even through states which for Reason would mean disorder 
absolute. Marriage, not a State ruled by police-regulations 
is the prototype. This is the sole reason why there are recov- 
eries after wars and revolutions and economic crises. This 
explains why the ways in which these recoveries take place, 
always differ widely from those prophecied by scientists. 

IN order to gain an understanding of the Emotional 
Order which intellect finds so difficult to realize, I had 
best begin not with its foundations, but with such of its 
manifestations as we Europeans, or more exactly, we Euro- 
pean men, involuntarily interpret in function of spiritual 
ideals. And again 1 shall first mention a concrete example. 
In Buenos Aires, there are an amazing number of existences 
which, at first sight, bear a resemblance to the Prishiwalt- 
shiki of old Russia, whose prototype Gogol has drawn in so 
classic a manner in the figures of Bobdschinsky and Dob- 
schinsky; that is, lifelong guests or 'spongers'. They are 
actually kept by their friends. But they are kept from out 
of so genuine and beautiful a feeling of friendship such as 
the commercialized northern world no longer knows; the 
relationship is based on so obvious an affection that even the 



246 NINTH MEDITATION 

foreigner who is at all understanding no more thinks of 
parasitism than he does in the case of the wife who is pro- 
vided for by her husband. If in Europe one meets with 
anything outwardly akin to this, it is an expression not of 
sympathy, but of spirit of caste; at all events, of ties posited 
by Spirit. English loyalty, for instance, is as Spirit-born a 
thing as any metaphysical conviction or the rule of a game; 
it belongs to the essence of these ties that they hold good 
independently of momentary feeling. Nothing of this kind 
is to be found in South America. Loyalty, reliability and 
faithfulness as they are understood in Europe, are except- 
tional phenomena. But in their stead, feelings and emotions 
as such play so prominent a part in all relationships of life, 
that they create a general atmosphere in which the specific 
laws of sentiment and emotion work themselves out as a 
matter of course, whereas moral, intellectual and utilitarian 
considerations cannot thrive at all. 

On the basis of what we have shown, everyone will 
easily find for himself the way which leads from the parasite 
who is no parasite, and the genuine friend to the sublimest 
expression of the same fundamental relationship. Now it 
was precisely the oddness of the particular case which helped 
me to gain an understanding of the fundamentals. There 
exists an entirely irrational order which, wherever it rules 
life, works itself out with the necessity of a natural law, 
but which as such cannot be related to spiritual values, al- 
though it may serve as their vehicle. If, however, one relates 
the facts of this order to values, the only possible connecting 
link which presents itself to the mind is the idea of a 'Should*. 
All higher ethics teach : man should give without desire of 
return. The formulation true to Sense of the same precept, 
as far as it is true, is different: wherever genuine friendship 
or love decide, it is absurd to ask a return. This is the way 
to express it; for in the sphere of what is not the domain of 
Reason a 'Should' cannot exist. And no 'Should' of this 



THE EMOTIONAL ORDER 247 

kind ever binds as does a law of Nature: for on this earth 
there is no power capable of punishing contraventions to 
support it. The error of judgment Christianity makes re- 
garding this point is one of its chief deficiencies. A thing 
which does not depend on understanding and will, cannot 
possibly be a sin or a punishable crime. And to ordain 
eternal torment as a penalty for transgressions precisely 
here, is the worst possible expression of legal formalism; 
it can only be excused on the grounds that the Unconscious 
endeavours to compensate the impossibility of accomplish- 
ing what 'should' be done, by the threat of terrific punish- 
ment. The real fact is that emotions according to their 
nature are radiating; their existence is inseparable from the 
act of giving; all their significance lies in giving, even 
where, viewed from without, they mean enjoyment or 
suffering. To think of requiting love means the most 
wounding of all possible offences. Here, there is no idea 
of a moral code; it is so, from the very first awakening of 
genuine emotion. A beautiful, though exaggerated example 
may serve as an illustration: a Brazilian woman had fallen 
in love with a man with that lightning rapidity, that exces- 
sive headlong boundless passion forgetful of all caution 
which is so characteristic of South America. When the 
day after this man brought her flowers she shot him: in 
this offering she already sensed the intention of paying her; 
that is, of treating her as a prostitute. But it is not only an 
offence, it is impossible to 'requite* feelings and emotions; 
they can only be reciprocated ; the form in which that natural 
law of compensation, or of the equality of effect and coun- 
ter-effect which holds good everywhere, expresses itself in 
the sphere of feeling and emotion is this, that everyone 
claims sympathy; that is, the sharing of joy and pain, a con- 
sonance as of chords attuned to each other. Hence the deadly 
hate into which spurned love is so apt to turn. But the ques- 
tion of self-interest as it is usually understood cannot arise 



*48 NINTH MEDITATION 

at all. Therefore, emotional life has its one entirely unmis- 
takable exponent in disinterestedness, alias in generosity 
(the Spaniard would say desprendimiento). Here again it is 
impossible to apply the category of 'should* : one 'should' 
not be disinterested, because there is no commanding dis- 
interestedness ; but he who feels, is disinterested : if a per- 
son does not feel, he is not, as a mater of course : and feelings 
and emotions cannot be commanded. Goethe sang: 'If I 
love thee, this is no concern of thine.' This is what everyone 
feels who loves in the same way and with equal intensity. 
And equally as a matter of course, a man may kill himself for 
hate of another man, or ruin himself and his family in order 
to revenge himself on a person. In all these cases, there is an 
original absence of all self-interest. However much a lover 
may desire and wish to possess his beloved : as a creature of 
feeling he is nevertheless disinterested. Hence the typical 
phenomenon that he who delights in love- for the first time 
knows no desire. Now if Spirit inbuilds itself into emotion 
in its positive aspect, the supreme result of the process can 
be so sublime a thing that it impresses man as something 
sacred, nay supernatural. It is 'supernatural', since it is 
irrational and to that extent inexplicable. However, what 
is characteristic of the saint, belongs to the essence of all 
genuine emotion. In this sense, the French, for instance, 
are essentially generous, despite all the coldness and hard- 
ness they manifest in the pursuit of their aims and interests : 
they are an intellectual nation only on the surface; in their 
depths they are emotional. However narrow and hard they 
may seem where they give themselves up to their logic 
which, with regard to their soul is, in reality, an external and 
inferior thing : wherever they act from out of feelings and 
emotions, they are truly disinterested. In this generosity 
also lie the roots of Christian love. As soon as genuine love 
comes into play, man desires but to give, on no account to 
sell; he desires to receive as a pure gift, on no account to 



THE EMOTIONAL ORDER 249 

earn; hence, in a spiritual transposition, the primacy of 
Grace over Justice. Man would fain give away everything he 
has and is, and feels misunderstood and wounded to the 
core, if the beloved sees the slightest merit therein. For the 
same reason, in the context of our present considerations, 
the idea of sacrifice is a mistake. The Greeks still knew what 
patriotism really meant : they crowned the fallen hero with 
flowers and rejoiced for him, even though they themselves 
might weep. The prejudice that everying must needs follow 
the laws of reason and intellect has obscured the true mean- 
ing of their own inner experience for most moderns. 

Reason finds it easiest to understand this disinterestedness 
by considering that emotion is essentially blind. It is blind 
like the Sun, not like Night ; it radiates, but, as a fact of inner 
experience, its mere existence is sufficient unto itself; it does 
not look beyond itself, nor can it possibly do so. It means a 
fundamental misunderstanding to connect emotion with 
any kind of imagination or image ; it belongs to the essence 
of emotion that in itself it is independent of imagination ; 
imagination merely causes its birth, be it as a means to call 
it out or as the corresponding object. The typical idealiza- 
tion of the beloved results from the fact that idealization 
alone represents that correspondence. To that extent it is 
thoroughly logical, although the process is completely irra- 
tional, that a love may die, because its object fails to corres- 
pond to the ideal image. This has nothing whatever to do 
with genuine sense of value. Here the logic of the verse of 
Chamisso's Frauenliebe und -leben obtains : 

Dass du mich liebst, 

Macht mich mir wen. 

(Thy love makes me most precious to myself.) 
or the logic of the thought : I could not possibly love him 
or her, if he or she were not perfect. That this is so, is best 
made clear by the consideration that every beloved person, 
be it man or woman, quite naively starts from the truly pre- 



250 NINTH MEDITATION 

posterous premise that he or she incarnates an immeasur- 
able value, for which no devotion and no sacrifice can be too 
great. When feeling makes a choice as for instance, the 
female chooses the strongest male, the male prefers the most 
beautiful female, and both are attracted by certain moral 
qualities and repelled by others this is not based on judg- 
ment, but on immediate correspondence. If this were not 
so, the strong male and the beautiful female would not have 
to woo for a time, before the emotional tie sets in : in both 
cases, it is a question of bringing about a state of thraldom. 
Absolutely irrational laws apply here : this is why man who 
can only think in accordance with the laws of reason and 
intellect, is led to construe the most absurd associations. 
Thus, for instance, a man thinks he can prove the strength 
of his feelings for a woman by heaping jewels upon her 
where at best a stressing of the unimportance of material 
value would be a true translation into the sphere of intellect 
of what is emotionally meant. No necessary connexion ever 
exists between emotion and imagination, because emotion 
in itself is blind. Here material aim and interests of which all 
true feeling is innocent only means a particular case of a 
general phenomenon: in its essence material interest too 
is nothing but an image. 

IF from here we think back to 'Gana', it should be 
obvious without further comment, that the world of emo- 
tions grows up directly from and has its foundations in the 
world of Gana. It stands in a similar relationship to the 
sphere of Gana as in the domain of mathematics a manifold- 
ness of a higher order stands to a manifoldness of a lower 
order. All the elements of the world of emotion are born of 
Gana; the latter's basic laws hold good in both spheres; 
many manifestations are identical on both planes. Thus, 
all emotions, like all Gana-melodies, are things qualitatively 
distinct, exclusive and unique; thus, emotions, too, are 
blind; thus, in the emotional sphere, too, there is no free- 



THE EMOTIONAL ORDER 251 

dom. Misled by the impressive fact of the progressive 
development of the cerebrum, man has hitherto failed 
to realize that intellectual superiority is not the only and 
certainly not the essential difference distinguishing man 
from the animal. He has failed to realize that intelligence of 
however high an order, as a purposeful means of adaptation 
among others, by no means lifts man out of the frame of 
animal life in general. Finally, the fact has been overlooked 
that the ultimately autonomous quality of Life finds its 
typical expression in what is essentially independent of the 
outer world ; that is, that it manifests itself in what funda- 
mentally does not mean adaptation. Therefore, blind Gana 
is Life's original expression. Seeing, understood as an 
external phenomenon, is already a faculty conditioned by 
the Sun. Now, proceeding from Gana, 'progress', so far 
as the idea has any meaning in this connexion, must lead 
upward independently of all cerebral development and all 
intellectual refinement. One stage of this road is outlined 
by the idea of Delicadeza. But the supreme expression 
hitherto attained of what has arisen from Primordial Life 
in a different direction then intellectual progress, is repre- 
sented by the Emotional Order. And that this is something 
higher not only in the relative, but in the absolute sense, 
as judged from the standpoint of man, in shown by the 
following trend of thought. Gana is not only blind: as 
such it cannot be experienced directly; its realm lies in the 
unconscious nethermost deeps; it can hardly be called 
psychical, although psychical elements too belong to it. 
As opposed to this, emotions are pure formations of the 
soul. Moreover, the idea of unconscious emotions is as 
unsubstantial as that of unconscious thoughts, albeit the 
fact of their becoming conscious does not belong to their 
essence. The reason is that the particular quality of emo- 
tional reality depends entirely on its being personally 
experienced. The world of emotions is essentially that 



252 NINTH MEDITATION 

of personal experience ; Indeed, it is the world of experience 
par excellence; for it is only when feelings decide that the 
term 'inner experience' becomes endowed with the meaning 
everyone involuntarily attributes to it. From this follows 
what is of essential importance : the realm of the Emotional 
Order is one throughout and in all respects with what is called 
Soul. If one frees oneself of metaphysical and religious 
prejudice, one does not discover one single attribute of the 
soul unless one keeps to arbitrary definitions which 
does not refer to the realm of emotions in contradistinction 
to those of both Gana and ratio. And everyone involun- 
tarily understands 'soul' to mean an entity not only different 
from, but higher than reason. 

'That this is so, will best be realized by modern man, 
when he proceeds from what he judges, involuntarily and 
naively, to be devoid of soul ; the completely mechanized 
American and the Bolshevist. Both are characterized by a 
dwindling or the unimportance of the emotional sphere. 
In religious and accordingly dogmatic Russia, no feelings 
and emotions are allowed to exist; man 'should' be nothing 
but an atom of the community, which can be completely 
understood from without. Therewith the individual is 
denied all autonomy, both as a fact and as a value. He 
'should' only exist for others; he is no longer to be, nor to 
have a life for himself. Logically, Soviet-Russia fights 
every spiritual religion as being crude prejudice; for every 
spiritual religion must start from the ultimate importance 
of inwardness. Logically, it declares European individual- 
ism to be a 'zoological state'. In intellectualistic America, 
Behaviourism which is more and more becoming the world 
view nationally typical for the United States, teaches that 
life, both as a fact and as significance, can be entirely 
comprehended from the standpoint of the observer; that is, 
the existence of an ultimately deciding inner world of 
personal experience is denied, and its elimination, where 



THE EMOTIONAL ORDER 253 

such a world exists, is held to be a progressive ideal. 
Reflective thought here takes the most incredible paths, 
in order to give their due somehow to the demands of the 
inner world, which cannot be completely overheard. Thus, 
Walter Lippmann whom statistics had convinced of the 
fact that unselfishness, on the whole, stands the pragmatic 
test better than egoism, proposes to let experts ascertain in 
each separate case, when and to what extent the making 
of a sacrifice should be advised. The fact that all the value 
of sacrifice lies precisely in the personal decision to overcome 
Self, in the sacrifice consent^ completely escapes his notice. 
To-day, reflecting America denies the autonomy of the soul 
almost as decidedly as does Soviet-Russia. The result is 
the de-souling of America. But this leads to nothing 
less than de-humanization, and therewith to the very 
opposite of what the ideal of progress really intends. It 
is to feeling, not to reason that the idea of humanity, as 
everybody involuntarily understands it, applies. Not the 
stupid man, but the man devoid of feeling has always been 
called 'inhuman'. And as a matter of fact: all progress in 
the sphere of humanity, such as the abolishment of torture, 
of slavery, the recognition of fundamental rights belonging 
to all men, laws more accordant with justice etc., has its 
origin in growing sympathy. Even modern humaneness, 
which is ruled by the spirit of the machine and the cipher, 
has its roots in the generous hearts of the champions of the 
eighteenth century. From this follows, to repeat, that man, 
however unconsciously, experiences and defines himself 
in the first place not as the reflecting, but as the emotional 
animal. Even in the fairy-tale, he feels superior as an 
emotional being to other creatures who are often described 
as more intelligent, but, with rare exceptions, as heartless. 
And the spirits of Nature and the lower gods are repre- 
sented as being equally cold. 

Of course, to a certain degree, higher animals, too, have 



NINTH MEDITATION 

feelings and emotions. But what is characteristic of man 
alone among all the beings we know of, is the fact that he is 
originally and essentially centred in the emotional sphere. 
From here we understand why man alone is held to possess 
a soul, and what was originally meant by this statement. 
Spirit, even in the profoundest interpretation Christianity 
and Hinduism gave to it, is not what everybody means 
when speaking of man's soul; and most emphatically not, 
where he hopes for this soul's immortality. Spirit is origin- 
ally experienced as a reality in contradistinction and opposi- 
tion to Earth and Nature. Accordingly, it lacks all personal 
qualities ; from the point of view of human emotions it is 
cold. As opposed to this, 'soul' is originally thought of as 
personal and warm; there is no race on earth believing in 
the immortality precisely of the soul, which does not imagine 
it as something personal and private. This, then, leads us 
back to the difference between the so.ul (as the emotional 
sphere) and Gana. Gana as the primordial manifestation of 
Life exists independently of personal inner experience. 
But 'soul' stands and falls with the latter. To that extent 
the idea of soul, too, depends on the existence of personal 
consciousness ; hence it follows that the ancient philosophers 
were not so wide of the mark, when they denied the exist- 
ence of a soul in animals. Nor is soul what psychology calls 
sensation ; for the latter exists in its own right and supposes 
no experiencing and centralizing subject as a premise of its 
existence. 'In itself, moreover, it is cold. As opposed to 
this, what everybody involuntarily understands by soul, is 
inextricably bound up with the attribute of warmth. This 
is why, for the first and hitherto only time in history, the 
soul was hypostasized into a metaphysical substance when, 
with Christianity, Personal Love was raised to the height 
of the foremost attribute of Godhead. And if love has been 
held by all poets of all ages to be the prototype of the activity 
suffering of the soul, this seems to me to prove 



THE EMOTIONAL ORDER 255 

clusively that 'soul' is essentially what dry science calls the 
organism of the emotions. 

This recognition robs the soul of none of its depth. A 
demarcation of the sphere of emotion against that of sensa- 
tion will make this clear at once. All sensation, as the inner 
correspondence of impression, can be called superficial, 
for its domain is the surface of body and soul, and its 
existence depends on external influences. Such dependence 
does not exist in the case of emotions : emotion lives in its 
own right. It is never superficial, it is always profound, for 
it lives in the deeps and only in the deeps. It can be strong 
or weak; he only who misunderstands its real character can 
call emotion a superficial thing. The frequency of this 
misunderstanding is due to the fact that emotion is fed 
from without through the medium of sensation ; therefore, 
at a certain point, both merge into each other, as impression 
and expression. Thus it is possible to experience as sensa- 
tion what actually is emotion, and vice versa. Moreover, 
it is possible to safeguard oneself against personal emotion 
by means of cultivated sensitiveness. Finally: cultivation 
of the latter can lead to the development of emotion. Think 
of the r6le susceptibility plays in the relations of lovers, or 
during the stage of wooing; as soon as firmly rooted emotion 
has become determinant, it loses all significance; then the 
emotional order comes into force and governs in accordance 
with its own laws. 

Accordingly, emotional life, and therewith the soul, is 
ultimately autonomous. And since all original primary 
experience is an experience through the medium of feeling 
for feelings and emotions alone seize man as a whole 
man must needs identify himself in his depths with his 
soul : for his soul really is his personal last resort. Now we 
can give that exact definition which solves the religious 
and metaphysical dilemma. // is a mistake to understand 
soul to be deep in the direction of Spirit, that is, as a mefa- 



256 NINTH MEDITATION 

physical substance. Its depth lies entirely and throughout in 
the direction of Earth. There is no reason whatsoever to 
refer personal emotions to any, other root than the root of 
psychical organic life. This is already apparent in the fact 
that everywhere there are correspondences between the 
emotional order and that of Gana. The soul, too, is essen- 
tially blind; the soul, too, has none of the qualities of the 
image or imagination. The following trend of thought 
explains best why even many profound spirits are apt to 
fall into the error of deeming soul a metaphysical substance : 
since all experience is originally located in the realm of the 
emotions, naturally, the soul, too, can become the body of 
metaphysical Spirit. Accordingly, the ancient Hindu 
teaching was true that Spirit could be attained also on the 
path of Love. If Christianity later on asserted that love was 
the only way to reach this goal, it merely put an undue 
limitation on what was essentially correct. Indeed, many 
of the most beautiful incarnations of Spirit on earth are 
possible only in the body of the emotions, just as others 
presuppose the natural basis of sensitiveness. The magnifi- 
cent ethos of friendship which ennobled the antique world 
meant nothing else but the spiritualization of South 
American amistad; the principles of duty to oneself, of sense 
of value and continuity (understood as esprit de suite) 
had there become in-built into the emotional order of 
Nature. The same applies to the ideal of modern marriage. 
Similarly, genuine Christian love, so-called Heavenly Love, 
which demanded the inclusion of the enemy and the over- 
coming of all motives of Gana and Delicadeza, and stressed 
the radiating quality, the desire to give, the virtue of 
generosity as opposed to the wish to have and to take 
this genuine Christian Love meant a thing purely spiritual 
in the body of the possibilities inherent in natural emotions. 
Medieval loyalty to give one more instance had a 
similar meaning: a feeling of perpetual tiedness was to 



THE EMOTIONAL ORDER 257 

endure and to decide despite the normal rhythm of attach- 
ment and treachery. 

The profoundest reason of the usual essentialization of 
the soul to a metaphysical reality, however, is this: that 
emotion alone makes possible the existence of faith as an 
earthly phenomenon. Sensation depends on impressions 
received; to intellect, all things appear relative to other 
things, that is, they lack the quality of absoluteness ; it is 
impossible, on the basis of either function, to affirm the 
reality of anything, or to decree from within the existence 
of a 'meaning'. Again, Reason decides from out of insight ; a 
fact which implies a two-fold limitation: first, the limits of 
possible intellectual insight, which exclude whatever is 
incapable of being rationalized ; secondly, the limit implied 
in the fact that, from the standpoint of Life, reason works 
from without and can never be, nor create inner experience. 
Now faith is affirmation absolute; faith depends on no 
external reality; faith proceeds entirely from within.* 
Faith originates in the profoundest nucleus of experience 
within the individual; and where there is faith it has the 
power of binding the individual absolutely. Its prototype 
is the belief of woman in the man she loves. Now such 
belief is emotion's first and normal reflexion on the plane of 
understanding; if one puts the question of reality from the 
standpoint of a man who feels, the answer is that emotion 
either believes in its object according to its own specific 
character be it love or hate or else it does not exist. 
Here, it is neither on a question of infatuation nor of rose- 
coloured or black spectacles, but simply of the fact that 
emotion is a primary phenomenon and creates from within 
its own reality. Now religious faith belongs to the realm of 
Spirit; in our next meditation we shall give it an exact 
definition. But all things spiritual are realized on earth 

* Cf. my detailed explanation of the problem of faith in the chapter 
'Faith' of my book Unstcrblichkeit ('Immortality', written in 1906). 



a 5 8 NINTH MEDITATION 

through empiric means, and in the case of faith these 
means are the emotions. Hence, again, the essentialization 
of the soul that is, that part of man which is capable of 
believing to a metaphysical substance. 

But man is originally capable of acquiring a true under- 
standing of the connexion. This is proven by the fact that 
in all ages such an understanding has been attained by 
peoples capable of unbiased reflection, or else devoid of 
metaphysical gifts. India even in its earliest Holy Writs 
gave a correct definition of the soul when calling it the body 
of the emotions and desires. The ancient Greeks never even 
dreamt of essentializing the psyche; and their true under- 
standing still survives in the early Christian distinctions of 
psyche, pneuma and nous. Now as to the races devoid of 
metaphysical gifts, it is characteristic that Turanians, as for 
instance Turcs and Magyars, involuntarily understand as 
'heart* and 'temperament* what Western races call soul. But 
the best proof of our thesis is provided by the nations 
belonging to the Iberian sphere of culture. They are the 
Gana-races proper, which means that they are the nearest to 
Earth. Moreover, since they are exclusively earth-bent, they 
can have no direct relationship to a Beyond : they experience 
the Word as Flesh. For this very reason, with them the 
emotional order rules supreme in the purest form existing 
to-day. Since they whole-heartedly accept and consent to 
Earth, Flesh and Blood, all earth-born things can develop 
in incomparable richness. This manifests itself in the 
domains of vitality, of sexual potency, as also of delicacy of 
sentiment. But its most impressive manifestations lie in the 
emotional sphere. Emotionally, the Iberian world is by 
far the deepest and richest of this age. This is so, precisely 
because the Iberians are earth-bent. It is owing to this 
quality and not to metaphysical depth, that even to the most 
modern Iberian, things human mean more than all objective 
facts. 



THE EMOTIONAL ORDER 259 

The Emotional Order stands in the same relationship 
to the order of Gana to resume in a few words what has 
been explained above as the ensouled to what is devoid of 
soul; or as a life which has its ruling centre in the inner 
experience of a personal subject, to an existence which 
unconsciously obeys a driving force. But the particular 
order it represents can best be understood when we call 
to mind the order of the Universe, such as the most modern 
physicists describe it. In the Cosmos, too, things do not 
happen in the way intellect would think ideal. The firma- 
ment, in particular, so much extolled because of its rational 
order, should be an abomination to intellect. Infinite voids, 
unbridged by any ether which can be considered a material 
substance, nor by any kind of forces working at long 
ranges. Here and there, semi-choatic nebulae and clusters 
of stars, at rarer intervals, articulate solar systems, none of 
which, however, are stable; occasional twin-stars, indeed, 
real manages a trois et a quarte among the heavenly bodies; 
finally, changing stars, thoroughly unreliable customers. 
All these statements, moreover, can only be made with the 
reservation that stable and distinct bodies do not, in reality, 
exist at all. Under these circumstances, the possible exist- 
ence of an emotional order, after all, should appear more 
plausible than that of a cosmic order; for we ourselves 
incarnate the former, it is no 'outside* whose existence is 
doubtful. Emotions, too, do not work at long distances; 
but they are connected by infection, as it were; and their 
influence, which works from nearness to nearness in a 
gradual transference, goes so far, that despite all internal 
strife, groups can a priori be imagined as both possible and 
necessary. Furthermore, the Emotional Order is more 
comprehensible than that entity which somehow connects 
and holds together the innumerable exclusive Gana- 
melodies from the centre of a whole, which remains for ever 
undefinable. For emotions are essentially set in one 



260 NINTH MEDITATION 

direction. Where any kind of direction exists, and where 
it is not a question of an atom in the void, there coherence 
necessarily exists; which coherence in the long run inevitably 
leads to a state we call cosmos in contradistinction to chaos. 
Thus, the solar systems, in the long run, developed out of 
movements originally not correlated. Similarly, once a 
connexion between humans exists, it remains determinant 
through affection and dislike. No unreliability, no revulsion 
of feelings destroys it; if love turns to hate, still the tie 
endures. As opposed to the void of the indifferent, hate and 
treachery and unreliability create a stable connexion no 
less than love and faith. Only indifference destroys an 
emotional tie: for with the victory of indifference all emotions 
die. 

Now the wealth and manifoldness of possible emotions 
imply the possibility of a firmer or, more exactly, of a more 
intensive connexion than stars can incarnate. There, the 
gamut stretches from dimly-felt Gana-thraldom and clear- 
sighted personal love to sublimest faith which triumphs in 
spite of all proven facts. And, again and again, new emotions 
can be born and come to rule, so that, as compared with the 
possibilities of the emotional sphere, those of the astro- 
physical universe, in which stars are born and die with 
great uniformity, appear insignificant. Antique friendship 
in-built a new cosmos into Nature; the same was true of 
Christian Love. When in the Middle Ages personal loyalty 
from man to man, for the first time in history, became a 
decisive power, this was little short of a cosmic event. 
And certainly no less can be said of the denial of all signi- 
ficance of emotional bonds and of the soul by Soviet-Russia. 
There, of a sudden, a world of hatred has become decisive, 
the possibility of which we could hitherto only dimly 
imagine on the strength of mythical tradition. In Russia, 
hate of the so-called bourgeoisie has created nothing more 
nor less than a new empire ruled by new laws; indeed, 



THE EMOTIONAL ORDER 261 

within less than a generation it has created a new type of 
man. But to set aside history: how wonderfully rich are 
the possibilities of psycho-chemical combination within 
the sphere of emotion and sentiment 1 Feeling can give a 
soul to the senses; it can reject or exclude all that belongs 
to them. The profoundest love of the man generally has a 
touch of asceticism. Hate can be naively consented to: 
then a beautiful world of warriors comes into existence. 
Hate may be overcome : it then turns into love of the enemy. 
If hate is repressed from prejudice, this leads in the long 
run to abominations such as World War and World 
Revolution. I have no intention of writing a catalogue here; 
however undifferentiated most men may be as emotional 
beings almost every genuine woman on her own account 
will discover innumerable possibilities of new combinations. 
Only one more word to illustrate conclusively the thesis 
that the Emotional Order stands in the same relationship 
to the world of Gana, as the ensouled to what is devoid of 
soul. Sex itself belongs to the sphere of Gana. But how 
much its significance can vary, according to the whole 
of which it forms a part! Sexual intercourse within the 
frame-work of normal animal desire, of vicious lust, of wild 
passion, and of deep love of the soul means something 
intrinsically different in each separate case. If the soul 
decides, its laws bestow on all that belongs to the body a 
specific and, in each case, a unique significance. Yet the 
essential connexion with Gana is proven by the fact that the 
more a love has its centre in the soul, the more, not the less, 
does the physical act mean. 

Intellectual man best realizes the particular laws which 
rule the Emotional Order and the rhythm of its develop- 
ment in time, by remembering his own experiences when he 
was in love. The amorous state in its lowest form where 
man is a slave to his love belongs to the realm of Gana: 
deepest affinities which are inaccessible to consciousness 



262 NINTH MEDITATION 

decide the question whether two humans belong together 
and whether if the tie can develop all its force they 
become slaves to it. It derives its external motives from the 
sphere of susceptibility; even the brutal man when in love 
recognizes as a matter of course that a delicate or indelicate 
word, a declaration at the right or the wrong moment 
actually changes a situation in defiance of all laws of reason. 
For the rest, the course of love in time represents a real 
melody. The rhythmic alternation of 'elate with joy, sad 
unto death' (Goethe) like all the rhythms of love in their 
Up and Down and Back and Forth, in their beginnings 
and endings conforms to laws. Here it is this very 
alternation, this very lack of continuity in the sense of 
Planck's theory of quanta, this possible complete transmuta- 
tion of one quality into another, that creates the connexion. 
The specific order of the emotions in time is even more 
generally illustrated by their normal change from childhood 
to old age; a change which passes through the various 
attachments corresponding to each age. Here, moreover, 
the objective validity of a particular order can be proven by 
the fact that freedom can disturb it, and that such disturb- 
ance brings its own punishment with it in the shape of 
pathological deformations. To the state of childhood 
corresponds a particular emotional attachment to the 
parents. But if this lasts beyond a certain stage, it leads to 
pathological infantilism. Similarly, the repetition of first 
loves is morbid ; the abnormal character of the Don Juan, 
which has already been pointed out in 'Gana,' is due to the 
fact to express it in another way that he never pro- 
gresses; that again and again, he makes one and the same 
experience; that he has no memory and no goal. The most 
tragic phenomenon of this kind is incarnated by parents 
who fail to change in unison with the growth of their chil- 
dren. The true meaning of the Emotional Order has never 
been more profoundly grasped than by ancient Hindu 



THE EMOTIONAL ORDER 263 

wisdom: boys and girls should be chaste; then should 
follow family-life. But man should end his days as a San- 
yassin, a homeless man. To equivalent instinctive under- 
standing is due the happiness of Anglo-Saxon mothers: 
when their children have made homes of their own, they 
are glad to be able to live their own life. A terrible retribu- 
tion always falls on that unfortunately all too frequent 
type of woman who desires to perpetuate the relationship 
of the young mother and the baby. Here, as in the case of 
the amorous state, it is a question of a tie inaccessible to 
freedom which has a normal rhythm of its own. 

But just as it is possible to disturb this normal rhythm, a 
thing which must be paid for with loss of health true wages 
of sin even so it can also be induced or called out by 
freedom. Were it otherwise, seduction would be possible 
only on the plane of pure sensuality. Were it otherwise, 
wooing would not be a genuine art. Were it otherwise, 
woman would not be so skilled in playing on the instrument 
of the emotions not only that of Gana and the feelings. 
Were it otherwise, emotion would not, finally, be a specific 
organ of discrimination and to that extent of understanding. 

HEREWITH I have reached a problem which first 
attracted my attention in South America. And I also 
believe that I have found a solution which, in the main, 
can stand the test of criticism. The idea of recognition as it is 
generally understood is no longer tenable. Not only feelings 
and intuitions whose laws are not the laws of logic, can 
convey knowledge; the same is true of emotion. And this 
fact cannot be interpreted in the way it is explained by C, 
G. Jung who calls emotion a rational function; emotion is 
essentially irrational. What is important is this: that 
recognition is not necessarily and not essentially a rational 
process. Every reaction which is vitally correct is a process 
identical in essence with what we call recognition. One 
might even go the length of saying that scientific knowledge 



264 NINTH MEDITATION 

means so far less perfect a form of recognition than many 
another vital reaction, that Life would not have continued 
for an hour, had there been nothing better. Every organic 
process of adaptation and assimilation comprises the 
elements of accurate ascertainment of facts, right dis- 
crimination between things essential and unessential, the 
position of the problem in a particular manner and its 
solution in a way which is correct from the standpoint of 
the questioner. Through this new definition, intellectual 
insight, definition and demonstration lose none of the value 
which has stood the pragmatic test of the ages; but on the 
basis of our definition it becomes clear that they are the 
norms only of a particular kind of knowledge, not of recog- 
nition as such. If any particular phenomenon is to provide 
the ideal norm, it would be better to elect instinct instead of 
intellect for this purpose; for no reflection has ever equalled 
the absolutely sure understanding of ar situation which is 
characteristic of the most vitally important instinctive 
reactions of animals. The only general definition of know- 
ledge which is not wrong seems to me to be the following : 
it is the right equation between an experiencing subject and an 
object; recognition must be subordinated to inner experience 
in general. Life holds its own in the face of the thousands 
of stimuli which force themselves upon it and to which it 
responds with sensibility, either by making a firm stand or 
by assimilation. For either reaction to succeed 'under- 
standing 1 , however unconscious, however unspiritual, is 
the necessary premise; and understanding is the ultimate 
and supreme resort of all recognition. One should say 
'understanding' here, not adaptation ; for adaptation cannot 
be imagined without the auxiliary construction of postulates 
which are far more improbable still than those of an organic 
and unconscious understanding. If the equation between 
the subject and the object is correct, it is true to the specific 
meaning of Life and at the same time to the world of 



THE EMOTIONAL ORDER 265 

objects as far as this is at all possible; then it is a case of 
'understanding', no matter whether bodies, souls, spirits, 
feelings, emotions or ideas come into play. What is called 
the Personal Equation can never be eliminated; let ever so 
many subjective elements be eliminated from the impres- 
sions the theory of relativity has achieved this to a hitherto 
unparalleled degree there always remains 'the human as 
such*. But it is only with regard to man that our idea of 
understanding has any meaning at all. Thus, the 'personal 
equation' in the last analysis, is less an impediment than the 
condition of all understanding. From the standpoint of 
any live creature 'the' world is its particular 'way of being 
affected' ; and in the case of each type it is a question of a 
particular unique world, which cannot possibly be related 
back nor reduced any further. 

From here, the solution of the spiritual and emotional 
and other vital problems can without difficulty be grasped 
from the same point of view. From here we can realize 
in what respect 'understanding' means the solution every- 
where, and at the same time define existing differences 
correctly in accordance with their respective significance. 
Only, for this purpose we shall substitute the one word 
'correspondence' for the lengthy definition of 'the right 
equation between subject and object', since the term 'corres- 
pondence' can now hardly give rise to misunderstandings. 
The solution of a problem never is a logical process in the 
first place. The reverse is true: the laws of logical truth are 
a particular case of possible correspondence in general. 
Now intellect can relate back all correspondences to a 
principle. Where abstract recognition, as science under- 
stands it, is the goal, the basic premise of possible under- 
standing is the general validity of an equation, which 
necessitates correct formation. Now if it is a question 
of emotional 'understanding', 'correspondence' likewise is 
the necessary premise, and here, too, it is requisite to form 



266 NINTH MEDITATION 

the equation in the right way. Only the basic principle of 
emotional understanding is not general validity, but some- 
thing entirely different: it is specific compatibility. And in 
accordance with the nature of the connexion, the basic 
principle here is not merely a ratio cognoscendi, but a ratio 
essendi. I should like to express what I have to say here in 
the form of a paraphrase of the myth of Creation which 
sounds amusing, but which is seriously meant. Was it 
really the snake through whose whisperings Evil came into 
the world? It was quite sufficient that Adam and Eve 
should have been incompatible. If my supposition is correct, 
then the snake was superfluous. For on the plane of emotion 
compatibility, with its polar opposite : incompatibility, is in 
itself the original cause of all phenomena. This is apparent 
in the original type of humanity, Woman, even in her most 
differentiated states, as clearly as on the first day that Man 
came into existence. A woman's character is seldom originally 
fixed. Women change, they even are re-born again and 
again, as it were, through polarization. First, they are 
formed through polarization with their parents and the 
home; later through polarization with the husband there 
is profound meaning in the fact that they change their 
name from one husband to another. In particular, they are 
reborn, again and again, through polarization with the 
surrounding world at large; hence the significance of 
fashion. If they belong to the type of the amoureuse, a 
particular law of change often rules them. The same woman 
who first found fulfilment in a warrior may immediately 
afterwards, without transition, become enthralled by an 
artist, or a thinker, and again immediately after by a boxer, 
for thus does she experience constant rejuvenation. Now 
according to the degree of compatibility, the character 
born of polarization takes on a positive or negative, a good 
or evil aspect, as the case may be. Women tied to men 
incompatible with them almost invariably grow bad, and 



THE EMOTIONAL ORDER 267 

really bad at that (unless the spiritual element within 
them plays so prominent a part that a principle to which 
they cling can save them and self-conquest turns evil 
into good). To Kant's assertion that there is nothing 
really good in the world except Good Will may be added 
that Good Will, too, may turn into its contrary; thus, what 
is left as the original phenomenon is the ambivalence of all 
emotional energies, all of which can always manifest them- 
selves either in a positive or a negative form, or work 
themselves out in either sense. In 'Delicadeza' we explained 
that, more often than not, Evil is the natural consequence of 
wounded susceptibility. And in an earlier meditation we 
found that an objective Evil, the brood of the Night of 
Creation, is the original womb of all things on earth. The 
degree of fixation does indeed diminish with every stage in 
the progressive and higher development of the psyche. 
Thus, it is possible, quite seriously, that all Evil in the world 
of Man originally was born of the fact that Adam and Eve 
were incompatible; this is made the more probable by the 
obvious circumstance that Cain was burdened with psycho- 
analytic complexes. And on this very capacity of change 
of the emotions rest all possibilities of improvement and 
salvation. At the beginning of this meditation, we dwelt 
upon the fact that it is irrational to speak of a 'Should', 
where feelings and emotions are concerned; for they cannot 
be commanded. There is indeed no commanding them; 
but thanks to their capacity of change they can be influenced; 
and if they live long enough in one particular form, they 
become fixed in it. This is the sole reason why education is 
at all possible, and at the same time necessary. To that 
extent Virtue can actually be taught in the sense Socrates 
meant it. This is why home-education is so much more 
important than the school the home-atmosphere in the 
first place fixes the feelings and emotions. Here, too, lie 
h e roots of what is true in Behaviourism. Only, not 'habit', 



268 NINTH MEDITATION 

but the feelings which are to be awakened, should be its 
last conceptual resort. Everywhere the problem is identical 
with that of woman who becomes good, when tied to a 
man who is compatible with her, and evil in the reverse 
case. From this recognition we can give greater depth to 
what we explained in 'Blood' regarding the desire for warmth 
and 'home*. The uniting of individuals in any kind of 
group or community results from an urge towards what is 
compatible with them ; for thus alone is it possible to attain 
to a fullness of individual life of a positive aspect, where 
spiritual motives and ties have little weight. 

But, above all, we can now lay on more colour on our 
picture of the Emotional Order. On the planes of per- 
manent feelings and emotions, compatibility and incom- 
patibility create a connexion actually (not merely metaphori- 
cally) comparable to a field of forces of electric attraction 
and repulsion. This explains these feuds spreading from 
clan to clan, from tribe to tribe, of which all primeval history 
is full. The more primitive a man, the less he does what is 
transferable and in so far what is common to all mean to him ; 
in the first place, he looks upon every stranger as an enemy 
or a contemptible barbarian. When a Gaucho was told of the 
World War and in answer to his questions was informed 
that the Entente (with which the speaker sided) consisted of 
Englishmen, Frenchmen and Italians, he shook his head 
despondingly: 'And these most miserable (this is the best 
translation of los mas desgraciados) of all the Gringos (that is, 
foreigners) hope to defeat the Germans?' He derived his 
conception of them from the incompetent horsemanship 
of the representatives of these nations whom he had met ; 
and this one characteristic for him was decisive. The 
fields of forces which rest on the existence of a stronger 
or slighter degree of compatibility and of more or less 
sympathy resulting from the former, and which attract or 
repel each other, create in the domain of human social 



THE EMOTIONAL ORDER 269 

life the very phenomenon, whose cosmic manifestations 
science endeavours to explain in terms of the classic idea of 
gravitation. So-called 'hereditary enmity* is based upon 
actually existing feelings and emotions. And Evil is born 
of it. That most singular double standard held by all 
primitives, according to which it is permissible to persecute 
and kill one's enemy, whereas one should love and help 
one's friend, can only be understood if we accept the fact 
that compatibility, the basic principle of the Emotional 
Order, is primarily creative. 

Now this Emotional Order rules the whole of the 
Iberian sphere of culture. If in Spain and Portugal it is 
overlaid with spirit-born formations, it manifests itself 
with almost perfect purity in South America. The surface 
of life there is ruled by Delicadeza. Whatever is not 
wounding to the feelings is good; what hurts them is evil. 
Its deeps are ruled by equally elementary emotions. Now 
the peculiar charm and bloom of this world is due to the 
fact that the coldness of the Spirit of the Third Day of 
Creation endows the Emotional Order over there with a 
gentleness it has nowhere else. From the background of 
Spain this peculiar quality stands forth with particular 
clarity. South American amistad stands in a similar rela- 
tionship to that of ancient Spain, as do the colours of the 
South American landscape to those of Africa. They impress 
one as being silvery as compared to the deep Spanish gold; 
their radiance is like that of the moon, not of the sun. But 
precisely because of the cold foundations the warmth which, 
ever and anon, awakes in echo-like reactions, calls out a 
particular sense of well-being. I for my part have never 
enjoyed any other kind of warmth so much; maybe because 
I prefer the gentle light of the moon to the glow of the 
scorching sun. 

TTTE have now gained sufficient insight into the 
VV nethermost depths to be able to turn with deeper 



270 NINTH MEDITATION 

understanding to the well-known phenomena of social life. 
The original form of man's existence is the group. No single 
existence, such as that of most animals whom even sex 
only binds for short moments or periods ; not the pair, for 
since the connexion between parents and children is not 
severed, as it is with the monogamous animals, there are in 
principle more than two individuals. Nor is the original 
form of human existence a collectivity like that of the ants 
and bees, which presupposes their having something like a 
collective subject; to say nothing of gregarious animals. 
Now the group from the outset manifests itself as subdivided 
into kinships and friendships. The kinship, too, does 
not represent a tie of blood; for blood as such does not feel. 
What really manifests itself here, is compatibility of soul 
based on physical compatibility; and this double foundation 
explains the strength of genuine family-feeling. But friend- 
ship which is not based on ties of blood forms no less original 
a bond. Long ago, ethnological science has found that units 
of relationship and of friendship co-exist independently of 
each other. If the latter generally appear founded more on 
generic than on personal affinities as, for instance, groups 
of contemporaries, men's associations or unions in the 
frame of a particular exclusive, but impersonal esprit de 
corps, the reason is that the individual is undifferentiated, and 
accordingly the most general at the same time means the 
most personal. But even in the earliest stages we meet with 
personal friendships ; indeed, if they exist, they mean most 
precisely where on the whole group-feelings are decisive. 
For if all attention is focused in emotional [ties, the eye 
gains a keener perception for every nuance. I grasped the 
meaning of the fraternal bond sealed with blood, which 
plays so prominent a part in archaic ages, through the 
example of an Argentine counterpart : within a unified and 
outwardly united family there existed friendships and enmi- 
ties. It meant a reversal of the same meaning, if early ages 



THE EMOTIONAL ORDER 271 

sought to base their friendships also on a tie of Blood. 
Now the fundamental difference between the Emotional 
Order and any order rooted in reason lies in its exclusive- 
ness. The causes already analysed can now be expressed 
in the formula, that for the feelings and emotions there is a 
difference in kind between the person one loves and feels 
as belonging to one, and the stranger; a difference in kind 
as marked as that between chemical elements. With primi- 
tives, exclusiveness goes so far that the individual belonging 
to one particular Emotional Order is unwilling to recognize 
as a human being anyone who does not belong to the same 
order. We can witness the same thing in ages of a return to 
primitiveness through war or class-wars, where the man 
who does not belong to one is likewise, as it were, outlawed. 
But originally this was and is so everywhere. When Alex- 
ander von Humboldt tried to explain to certain Indians 
of the Amazonas that their habit of eating human beings 
was not nice, they first answered with true South American 
delicadeza: 'His lordship is quite right'; but then they 
continued with a puzzled air: 'But we cannot quite under- 
stand; the people we eat are not relatives. . .' The attitude 
of the Greeks towards the 'barbarians' was very much the 
same. In primordial states, man feels under as few moral 
obligations towards strangers as are felt to exist with 
regard to animals one eats and exploits. In the Old World, 
this attitude can still be found among the Caucasian tribes. 
The same attitude is expressed in another form in the 
original phenomenon of corruption. Its primary foundation 
is neither rational, nor moral, nor utilitarian ; it is emotional. 
The original stress does not lie on venality and embezzle- 
ment, but on love of one's neighbour. For this, and nothing 
else is the original meaning of nepotism. For the emotionally 
centred being, the human world is limited to those who 
belong to him. All the more freely does he do kindnesses 
to his friends, and among these to himself. State, govern- 



272 NINTH MEDITATION 

ment, office, etc., are intellect-born ideas and institutions 
which naive feeling recognizes only to the extent that they 
can be exploited for the benefit of those one loves. This is 
why every South American revolution, which flares up 
because of the corruption of the existing government, 
debouches into a state of things identical with the preceding 
state, only that now other circles and individuals decide. 
And probably the greater ' part of all South Americans 
thinks this is as it should be. As a matter of fact, the 
Emotional Order is entirely and essentially amoral, although 
on the other hand, it is the womb of all morality. This 
explains, among other things, why early ages could not 
see that it is cruel to enslave others; on the contrary, they 
thought it humane. The Greeks and Romans felt genuinely 
'good' when they led the vanquished into slavery; for the 
normal thing to do would have been to kill them all. Aris- 
totle gave this idea a philosophical foundation by explaining 
that the state of slavery was an order ordained by Nature 
just as most rulers and businessmen before the World War 
and World Revolution with a perfectly clear conscience 
thought the meagre standard of life of the workman a thing 
ordained by God and hence it probably follows that his 
master Plato, who was himself once sold into slavery, was 
of the same opinion. In the modern and intellectualized 
state of humanity, this primordial attitude manifests itself 
most frequently in the type of mother called la mtre-tigresse : 
no sacrifice is too great where her children are concerned, 
whereas with regard to outsiders everything ought to be 
permitted. 

But from what has been said follows something else: 
when Empedocles taught that War of all against all is the 
father of all things, he was right to a certain extent, though 
not in the way he meant it to be understood. The fact 
that a state of tiedness can come to an end is, indeed, the 
premise of all historical change. Originally, all imagination 



THE EMOTIONAL ORDER 273 

which sets its own goals is lacking; but what is blind 
changes its modality of being only when driven from within. 
From this follows, moreover, that external motives play a 
very slight part in primordial states; the part they play is 
all the slighter, as primitives rarely step out of the life-space 
into which they were born. Thus, 'history* could really 
only begin to use the language of the myth after Cain 
had slain Abel and therewith strife had become a permanent 
motive power. Now in the paradise of the primordial 
state the most different humans normally co-exist, not 
indeed altogether peacefully, but in such a rhythm of war 
and peace, that the general impression produced corresponds 
to the adage: 'cads fight, and when the fight is o'er, they're 
greater friends than e'er before.' For this very reason, wars 
among primitives almost never are wars of extermination, 
nor are they intended to be. There, the humans who love 
each other and those who do not co-exist in an ultimate 
harmony similar to that of the carnivorous and herbivorous 
animals. This explains, among other things, the immense 
intricacy precisely of primitive social orders, as it is most 
impressively incarnated in the rules regarding the permitted 
and the prohibited selection of a mate among the Australian 
savages. This intricacy is not the result of a higher state of 
intelligence, but of the primacy of the Emotional Order. 
The latter can create from out of itself formations no less 
differentiated and admirable to intellect, than does the body 
on its own plane. 

Everywhere the cell of the Emotional Order is the small 
circle. Hence the course of development proceeds from 
families and friendships to tribes and small peoples and 
ultimately to great nations. But the smaller the circle, the 
stronger its coherence. Hence the firm connexion between 
the inhabitants of South America. What actually decides on 
this continent, are not the official States, but unions bound 
each to each by emotional ties. In the States as such, things 



274 NINTH MEDITATION 

are mostly in absolute disorder. But the units of kinship and 
friendship are hardly affected by these troubles; on the 
contrary, they live and thrive on them. But the centre of the 
State always is a live man. South American personalism is 
intimately bound up with the primacy of the Emotional 
Order. A world centred in emotion can have its centre and 
focus only in personalities. Abstract considerations mean 
nothing to such a world; for thoughts to it are not primary, 
but secondary things. Nor do ideas, such as republicanism 
or monarchism in the abstract, mean anything to such people; 
if they stand for one or the other of these ideas, as the case 
may be, they really mean this or that leader; in the case of 
great mass-movements this or that social stratum ; whatever is 
thought or done by those who are recognized and approved 
of, is without criticism accepted as right. 

What has been described here, is in general held to be 
characteristic of woman. With her, the rational sphere is 
so entirely subservient to the emotional, that where she 
loves, she sees nought but good into the beloved and cannot 
understand that others should see him in a different light. 
In reality, the same is true of every emotionally centred 
individual, however virile he be. And since the Emotional 
Order is the original order, all records and statements of 
early humanity must be judged like the picture a woman 
paints of friend and foe. But in the nethermost deeps of all, 
even of the most intellectualized nations, the original 
Emotional Order survives. It is highly significant that 
precisely in the case of demonstrably impersonal relation- 
ships, the emotional tie is felt to be ultimately decisive. 
Once the particular order which works itself out in war has 
called out in its participants the corresponding inner 
adjustment, every commander is quite irrationally supposed 
to love even the unknown soldier like a father. Napoleon 
who was truly inhuman, was adored by his soldiers like a 
beloved woman; and this is why they died for him. In a 



THE EMOTIONAL ORDER 275 

peacefully permanent and softened form the original 
Emotional Order lives on in the ancient monarchies of 
Europe. Everyone should love the king; on his side, he 
loves each one of his subjects like his own child. In parti- 
cular: his moods, his bon plaisir, that is, the irrational side 
of his nature should ultimately decide, just as the clear- 
headed financier who keeps an actress desires her to be 
capricious. In modern constitutional monarchies kings 
have hardly any real power at all. But the irrational side of 
their mode of being is the more intensely cultivated. They 
are expected to live as though personal things were ulti- 
mately decisive. Thus, princes believe even to-day, and to a 
certain extent their subjects share this belief, that blood 
relationships among princes create a bond of friendship 
between the nations. Thus, the last among modern 
humans, they live in the original form of closest family 
relations and seem to be physiologically incapable of looking 
beyond them. One may almost say: if a prince of an ancient 
dynasty is not revolted by the mere thought of marrying 
a woman not his equal by birth, he is in all likelihood 
degenerate. This does not mean arrogance: it is nothing 
but the ultimate expression of a primeval state; thus does 
one clan of negritoes shut itself off hermetically against all 
others. And this primordial bond alone means a really 
inseverable tie. Where the corresponding idea is still at 
all vital in a nation, every hereditary king has more prestige 
and influence than the most deserving of presidents. And 
thus the original Emotional Order has also tinged the 
Christian idea of Heaven with its specific colour. The 
Father rules ; the Son is the mediator ; the Mother of God 
creates the bond of tenderness. And the Blessed are none 
other than the friends, understood in the Argentine sense, 
who live together in harmony of heart from eternity to 
eternity. 

Now if wars and revolutions of sufficient duration cause 



276 NINTH MEDITATION 

the netherworld to break forth, its power is also restored in 
the upper world. What belongs to the depths of Hell 
soon withdraws; it has given full vent to its fury, and all 
mere Gana-melodies are not only finite, but also short- 
lived. With emotions it is different. The rational counter- 
sense and pseudo-sense of war from the outset causes the 
emphasis to be laid on the emotions; otherwise war could 
not be carried through to the end. But if the emotions are 
awakened in the form adapted to war, they remain active 
long after the cause from which they originated has passed. 
Before the World War many people smiled at the idea that 
friendships between nations should be necessary; such 
friendships, according to them, were quite out of date; 
interest alone decided. Since the World War and Versailles 
all might know better. The war propanganda with its 
abuses and libels and defamations was an honest translation, 
on the whole, of genuine feelings and emotions into the 
language of intellect. And the dictated peace of Versailles 
is a product true to Sense of the pure spirit of hatred. What 
the foe held to be true and believed of the foe, and accord- 
ingly felt justified in doing unto him, was identical in 
meaning with woman's idealization of the beloved man. 
All objective and rational assertions and all judgments 
passed towards the end of the war and during the first 
years of peace, were conditioned by emotion. And this was 
not the result of 'prejudice' : there was no idea of any kind 
of 'judgment' ; it was a case of the transference of emotional 
reality. Now whatever has changed for the better since the 
end of the War up to the time I write, is entirely due to the 
fact that the emotions which swayed humanity during the 
World War are dying away. If true peace ever comes to 
Europe, it will be because these emotions have come to a 
natural end. Thus, the ancient theory that friendships 
between the nations are necessary remains true for all ages; 
for it asserts nothing but the primacy of the Emotional 



THE EMOTIONAL ORDER 277 

Order. At any moment the forces of the deeps can break 
forth afresh, unchanged in their primordial violence. *. 

BUT the Emotional Order is essentially blind and 
inert. Therefore, sooner or later, it is inevitably since 
man is a reflecting creature if not conquered, at least 
covered with the superstructure of a rational order. This 
is the profoundest and ultimate reason of the predominance 
of the world of man over that of woman : the mere idea that 
force can and should ultimately decide, presupposes ration- 
ality. And as a matter of fact, physical force is outwardly 
superior to inward ties. In this connexion, I know of 
nothing more instructive than the extreme logic incarnated 
in all those systems which have successfully ruled South 
America. As compared with the State of the Incas, that of 
the Bolshevists is a thing almost irrational. In the State of 
the Incas every emergency was anticipated, everything pre- 
ordained. Nothing could escape the network of this State- 
machinery and State-reason nothing indeed but the 
absolutely unforeseeable from the basis of its own premises, 
such as the mode of being and the course of action of 
Pizarro. The logic ruling the Jesuit State of Paraguay was 
even more fantastic. The State-machinery of modern 
Brazil is wonderfully subtle. And thus South America 
in these latter days is being caught in the meshes of North 
American finance. To stern logic which possesses the 
material power the Emotional Order is originally inferior. 
Since it is essentially passive and pathic, it can only follow, 
it cannot take the lead, when movement sets in. Essentially 
blind, it is unable to parry forethought. In its essential 
inconsistency it cannot hold out against logic. This is why 
its overcoming or overlaying began at an earlier date in 
supremely logical Europe than it did in Asia; and to-day 
with the completion of the process of intellectualization, 
the Emotional Order is in immediate peril of its life. The 
binding power of marriage, love and friendship is dwindling 



278 NINTH MEDITATION 

with every year. Genuine Community' is becoming ever 
ra&r. In the social and political picture of the United 
States of America, the Emotional Order practically plays 
no part at all, whilst in Russia it is persecuted as hostile 
to the State almost in the same way as the Roman Empire 
persecuted the Christian community. In Soviet-Russia 
love is not allowed to mean more than the stark sexual act. 
Marriages can be made and unmade in a few minutes 
thus indeed all possibility of deepening sensations into 
feelings and emotions is most surely precluded. And it is 
imposed upon relations and friends as a moral duty to 
denounce each other to the Political Police. 

These last trends of thought transfer the general and 
historical inquiry to the plane of actuality ; and I will con- 
clude this meditation with a consideration of these actual 
problems. While staying in South America I had, again 
and again, to think of its counter-phenomena, Russia and 
North America. And the acuteness of the problem also 
with regard to Europe was proven to me by my own 
reactions: I could not possibly have experienced such a 
sense of well-being in a world so essentially different from 
mine, were it not that its example pointed out a road to 
salvation also for Europe by evoking or restoring what was 
repressed or buried. Indeed: the Emotional Order, just as 
the order of the body and as Gana, is a thing primordial 
understood not only in the sense of something early in 
time, but of what is eternally original. People talk far too 
glibly about 'primitivity' nowadays. Even subtle psycholo- 
gists by preference dismiss phenomena which do not fit into 
the frame of rationalized consciousness as 'primitive'; and 
in our present state this amounts to the 'anathema' of the 
Middle Ages. And just as the Middle Ages thought 
Christians alone qualified for salvation, and accordingly 
considered them only human beings, even so the Nordic 
modality of life is believed to be the only modality worthy 



THE EMOTIONAL ORDER , 279 

of Man. The sb-called lower functions should indeed be 
stimulated, but they should be drawn into the connexion 
of the rational order. Now, beyond a certain point, this is 
as impossible as to change roots into blossoms, or to let 
both thrive together in the upper world. The truth is, 
that many forces can only thrive in the form of primitiveness, 
as the above-mentioned psychologists understand it; 
and among these forces are some of the profoundest and 
most vital. Thus, the greater tenacity and morality (in 
the sense of the French le moral) shown by the Latin races, 
in particular by the otherwise so intellectualized French as 
opposed to the Germans, is due to the survival of many 
functions in a primitive form. If I was justified, in Europe, 
in describing the English as animal-like, this is due to 
something similar. It should at last be understood, that 
the Emotional Order is a thing primordial not only in the 
sense of something early in time, but foremost of what is 
rooted. If the root withers, the crown or the blossom 
inevitably perish. And if this perishing is due to a hyper- 
trophy of the rational element, then the result is an assimila- 
tion, almost without transition, of the animate to the 
inanimate. It is strange, but it is so, that the laws of in- 
tellect, logic and mathematics can be transferred directly 
to what according to our ideas is dead; whereas it is only 
with the utmost difficulty that they enable reflection to trace 
the ways of Life; remember the irrational, even un- 
reasonable quality of Gana. To that extent exaggerated 
rationalization is no doubt hostile to Original Life. And 
rationalization is exaggerated wherever the manifestations 
and workings of Gana, of Delicadeza and the Emotional 
Order are inhibited or pressed into a frame which does not 
fit them. It may be true enough that there is nothing dead 
in the absolute sense. From the standpoint of what is 
undoubtedly animate, one can nevertheless affirm that the 
inanimate is ruled by mechanical laws; within the sphere 



280 NINTH MEDITATION 

of the inanimate there is nothing in principle which cannot 
be" foreseen ; in the domain of the inanimate alone it is 
possible to make unlimited generalizations, whereas the 
animate on all planes consists of uniquenesses. An atomistic 
structure belongs exclusively to the inanimate, whereas 
the animate is built up of monads. It is only in the domain 
of the inanimate that quantity creates superiority, whereas 
all vital superiority rests on higher quality. Therefore, 
one may assert with but slight exaggeration: whatever 
is truly vital is primitive to the extent that it is vital. And 
since the orders of Gana, of sensibility and emotion phylo- 
genetically precede the order of intellect, the animate 
proper is never intellectual. 

This trend of thought alone suffices to explain what we 
have already pointed out: that the words 'humanity' and 
'humane feeling' have always been understood to apply to 
the emotional, and not the intellectual sphere. Instinctively, 
everyone imagines the prototype of humane behaviour to 
be the lover who accepts the beloved as he is, as an absolute 
value. Under these circumstances it is clear even without 
our earlier fundamental considerations, why Americaniza- 
tion and Bolshevization must needs have a de-souling influ- 
ence; and why all intentions to make the world a better and 
more beautiful place than it is to-day, on the basis of intellec- 
tual premise, must de facto lead to a withering of the soul 
and, as soon as passions come into play, to an inhumanity 
and cruelty unknown to any tyrant, however barbaric, 
who belonged to the Emotional Order. In his most 
illuminating book ffirZucJitJiaus/er('Vfeconvicts' ; Mtinchen 
1932, Albert Langen) Georg Fuchs has shown that modern 
prison life humanized to the extreme is almost more 
intolerable and almost more disastrous in its effects on the 
soul than barbaric and arbitrary treatment; because the 
latter is human, whereas 'objective' perfection which does 
not enter into the individual's personality means putting 



THE EMOTIONAL ORDER 381 

the soul permanently to the rack. Of course, for all that, 
humanity born of understanding is a better thing than an 
institution based solely on feelings and emotions; first, 
because emotions never are consistent; secondly, because 
they are not forces working at long distances; finally, 
because nothing general can be created out of mere feelings 
and emotions. Nevertheless, a world of completely institu- 
tionalized intellect from which all feelings and emotions 
are eliminated such as the world of modern mechanical 
civilization and, to a high degree, that of juridical Rome 
in the past is more inhuman than any world ruled 
by soul, however evil it may otherwise appear. Every 
human being is both good and bad. Personal joy and 
personal sorrow both belong to the positive aspect of life. 
An Argentine woman once said to me: 'What would be 
left, if my sorrow were taken from me? I should have no 
life at all/ Thus, everyone feels the alternation of kindness 
and hardness, favour and disfavour, objectivity and sub- 
jectivity as something ultimately positive; just as such 
alternation in surprise means the fulfilment of the game of 
love. We have shown that man experiences another's 
hardness as something ultimately positive; hardness does 
not call out hate, but admiration. Where emotions decide, 
new love as the outcome of hate, and reconciliation as the 
conclusion of war are always possible. But where emotions 
play no part at all, dead logic or the logic of what is dead 
holds the sole and sovereign rule. Then, war must needs 
be war of extermination ; then, financial self-interest must 
pursue its own ends ruthlessly; then, the individual must be 
unconditionally sacrificed to common welfare. To what 
a damming-up of overpowering quantities of hate a state 
of this kind can lead, is proven by the World War which 
was intrinsically a phenomenon of explosion. The inhu- 
manity of such a world even in days of peace is shown 
by the business methods employed by Americans outside 



282 NINTH MEDITATION 

their own country, to say nothing of Bolshevist adminis- 
tration. Sooner or later, this must call out terrible reactions 
in those who at first were compelled to submit to superior 
force. 

And here, the women all over the world are likely to 
become the leaders, wherewith the feminist movement - 
which, in its beginnings, led to a masculinization of woman 
and which to that extent is chiefly to blame for the de-souling 
of Western humanity - would complete the circle of its own 
development. The women who are by instinct bent upon, 
and skilled in the art of divining and meeting future wishes 
of the men and who thus gain their greatest victories the 
women and not the men had pushed the mechanization of 
the world to extremes. The result in the United States 
for the present the country typical of mankind at large is 
the pardoxical phenomenon that woman does indeed rule; 
but not the feminine, but the de-feminiaed woman, and in a 
world made masculine to the point of caricature at that. 
It was she who declared love to be old-fashioned; she who 
depreciated what is specifically feminine and held only the 
one-sidedly masculine way of thinking and acting to be 
valuable.* But woman cannot change her nature. And there 
are limits to her histrionic powers, if only in exhaustion. 
Thus, more and more women are beginning to admit to 
themselves that the worlds of sport, of 'greater efficiency', 
and of professional competence do not really fill their lives 
in a satisfactory manner, because at bottom and despite all 
pretence to the contrary, they mean nothing to them. They 
are beginning to admit this truth the more generally as an 
increasing number of men is becoming aware of the fact 
that the mechanical world is a purely masculine world, 
in which there is no room for woman, and that thereby the 
part played by woman in their lives is irresistibly diminishing 

* I have explained all this at length in the chapter 'Predominant Woman 
of America Set Free. 



THE EMOTIONAL ORDER 283 

in importance. In America things have already come to 
the pass they were in in Europe about the beginning of this 
century: after every meal the men withdraw as quickly as 
possible from the society of women, because they find them 
boring. Thus, evolution must with the women lead to a 
revet/ du lion of the consciousness that only a life within the 
Emotional Order is truly in harmony with their nature, 
and that they can only mean much to man as emotionally 
developed and centred beings. If now woman, in her self- 
presentation again and again guesses and anticipates the 
wishes of man, the latter, of necessity, in the long run becomes 
what she desires him to be. Therefore, I do not doubt that 
there will be a real revolution against the mechanical order. 
And this time the salvation of mankind can only come from 
Woman. The assertion that a form of life based on suscep- 
tibility and emotion is exclusively characteristic of the 
feminine sex is fundamentally wrong. But to-day indeed the 
women alone incarnate this form of life in the Western 
world, because the natural order in which they live is the 
Emotional Order; because they react chiefly with sensitive- 
ness and are never affected in their depths, nor formed by 
things intellectual. Therefore, many reflecting people are 
looking out for a new phase of matriarchy in history.* But 
this is not the real issue. Even the state of things in France 
is so much more stable and harmonious than it is in Ger- 
many because the women independently of all rights and 
without visible activity play the part suited to their nature; 
and this is the case least of all with German women. What is 
essential is that the values of Gana, of Delicadeza and the 

* In his book Erkenntnisgeist und Muttcrgeist (Breslau 1932, Ferd. Hirt) 
Ernst Bergmann has gone the greatest length in this respect. The (evidently 
unconscious) hostility to man apparent in his fundamental explanations is 
not without a certain comic aspect. But Ernst Bergmann is right and to 
that extent his trends of thought are extremely worth reading when he 
shows that only a feminist movement in a spirit contrary to what feminism 
has been up till now, can bring salvation to mankind. 



284 NINTH MEDITATION 

Emotional Order should be recognized according to their 
specific weight; and that since to-day women alone guide 
and direct their lives in accordance with these values 
women should be recognized as authorities where they are 
superior to men. Now if this happens, truly feminine 
woman will experience an immense increase of her prestige. 
And if all goes well, it will be owing to this that the most 
burning problems of this age may not indeed be solved 
this will ever be impossible but dismissed.* There are 
only intellectual problems, for intellect alone posits them. 
Wherever a particular state of things represents an optimum, 
without its elements being of a rational nature, se/f-eviJence 
belongs to its essence. Thus, national cohesion is not a 
problem, but a matter of course; the same applies to the 
right relationship between man and woman, and between 
parents and children ; if here problems arise at all, things 
are in a bad state. Now woman is essentially unproblematic. 
Therefore, if her spirit gains a new prestige, it can do more 
for the solution of the modern crisis than the best emergency 
decree thought out by man. I am convinced that to-day 
things are in a similar state to what they were when the 
great ladies of Provence laid the foundations of modern 
civilization. The men of those days were thoroughly 
wild, raw and dissolute. The women taught them to 
acknowledge the claims of Gana, of Delicadeza and the 
Emotional Order. And therewith the world grew beautiful. 
And from this root in the long run sprang what can be 
called culture in Western civilization. 

The mechanical order is the essentially inhuman order. 
Accordingly, wherever it penetrates, it provokes resentment 
and hatred in all those who do not happen to be its masters. 
How the capitalists are hated to-day! As opposed to this, 
the hardness and cruelty of the Spanish conquerors has 

* Cf. the development of this sentence in the chapter 'Tension and 
Rhythm' of Recovery of Truth. 



THE EMOTIONAL ORDER 285 

left no trace of resentment. For they were ruled by Gana 
and Delicadeza. They were by no means humane in the 
sense of the European ideal of humanity, that sorry con- 
coction of the eighteenth century which to-day is at last 
exposed in its true character, that ideal which started from 
the fictitious premise that man is essentially good, and that 
inadequate progresssive institutions alone are the cause of 
all evil and suffering: the Spaniards were human in the 
sense of what the Spanish language calls hombria : humanity 
understood in the sense of fullness of life and soul, of fully 
developed, integral humanity which manifests itself in the 
form of both good and evil. In this sense the Spaniard 
probably is the most human of all humans. It is impossible 
not to love him when one comes to know him for any length 
of time, since an object never means more to him than the 
live individual, and human ties are more essential in his 
eyes than all formal and abstract bonds. Thus, even the 
viceroys always did what they personally thought right 
and according to their nature this was either better or worse, 
as the case might be, than the instructions they received 
from Spain; with regard to the latter, the classic formula 
was this : se obedece, pero no se cumple (one obeys, but one does 
not carry out). Whereas the colonizing Anglo-Saxon in 
principle kept aloof from the natives, the Spaniard always 
dealt with other races as from man to man, and to that 
extent as between equals. And he did so from out of that 
idea of equality which alone is true to Sense: the idea which 
affirms the equality of all men qua men what in the Middle 
Ages was called equality before God but which does not 
exclude the recognition of differences in other respects. 
And original feeling DEMANDS the existence of such differ- 
ences. To these also belong differences of property and 
power and position which progressive democracy, blind to 
the claims of the soul, would do away with as inhuman. 
The man whose emotional nature is fully developed does 



286 NINTH MEDITATION 

not wish to be onlyfrire et cochon with the man in the street, 
to know only comradeship; he would also love personally, 
more or less, and in different ways; he would also be an 
exclusive friend, also reverence, also worship, also despise. 
Never was there so great an inhumanity in the true sense 
of the word than during the era of the exclusive rule of the 
ideal of humanity. 

What can be said, under these circumstances, about 
progress beyond the present state of the West? There 
is no doubt that the problem of the West lies in a different 
direction than every current ideology of progress will have 
it. Everywhere this ideology starts from rational, if not 
demands, at least premises and therewith objects and ends. 
But precisely these have no place in the rebirth of the soul 
which is demanded everywhere as the solution and salvation. 
The problem is outwardly obscured, because all, or almost 
all who posit it, think or at least talk in the frame of Christian 
categories, and unconsciously assume that the modern 
crisis still lies in the sphere of the Christian cosmos. Thus 
they deem it possible to solve" the problem of community 
wherever it arises from the basis of Christian love of 
one's neighbour. But precisely this neighbour no longer exists. 
The idea of the Christian's neighbour was a wonderfully 
clear expression of a purely emotional attitude and valuation. 
This is why Jesus never spoke of the 'most distant'; for 
emotions do not work at long distances ; this is why He never 
meant 'humanity', but His disciples, His own circle, hence 
His friends'. This is why He was anything but a philan- 
thropist and as hard as He was gentle, as cold as He was 
warm. What to-day is understood as the 'nearest', as one's 
'neighbour' is a very different thing: it is what may be called 
the 'unavoidable contemporary'; that is, the surrounding world 
of humans, which thanks to the conquest of space and time 
by means of technique surrounds and inescapably oppresses 
everyone an overpowering mass of millions of unknown 



THE EMOTIONAL ORDER 287 

persons who interfere with the most intimate privacy of 
life. A positive emotional behaviour towards these is 
impossible. Nay, anybody who is not obtuse, must needs 
regard them with disgust and hatred, since everyone 
represents not a Neighbour', but an 'unavoidable contem- 
porary' in relation to as many as oppressively surround him; 
a fact which creates a sense of friction and mutual inter- 
ference and disturbance on all sides. This one consideration 
suffices to explain why the atmosphere all over the world 
seems envenomed as it has never been before. 

Nothing easier to understand than that under these 
circumstances the cry for a new kind of community is 
raised with a fervour equally unknown hitherto. But this 
cannot be attained by any kind of rationalization, or collec- 
tivism, or social care, or a State providing for the welfare of 
all; and most emphatically not by means of the extermin- 
ation of individualism through Communism; nor will it 
succeed by means of a revival of the Christian cosmos; 
for there are no restorations on a large scale in a world 
whose motto is: 'Once and never again/ A new community 
can only be attained by a restoration of the emotional sphere 
as such, of the Emotional Order, whose roots lie in Gana and 
which is fed by the sensations and feelings. And the problems 
belonging to this sphere arise independently of all technique, 
of all quantity; in short independently of all that the age of 
progress has created. 

Of course, there is still much to do on the road humanity 
has taken; thus the economic crisis can only be overcome 
from out of intellectual understanding by means of wiser 
organization and better institutions. Indeed, reason and 
efficiency can create an entirely new basis for the problem 
of human life the foundation which corresponds to the 
'Geological Epoch of Man.'* But the human problem 

* I have explained this trend of thought in detail in the chapter 'The 
Animal Ideal' of America Set Free, and will therefore only refer to it here. 



288 NINTH MEDITATION 

proper arises more purely than ever in its original, pri- 
mordial and at the same time eternal form; for never 
before was humanity even approximately so de-humanized. 
What must be done is this: a new world, ruled by soul, 
must be built up on the basis and within the frame of the 
new higher state founded by reason. This will not be a 
world of so-called love of humanity, but one of genuine 
love of one's neighbour. Intimate relationships, smallest 
circles will henceforth ultimately decide. There is in the 
past one example of what is our future task: it was incarnated 
by ancient China. In China, thousands of years ago, there 
were already far too many people. Already in those early 
days the idea naturally suggested itself of basing all social 
structure on the 'unavoidable contemporary', and not on 
the neighbour in the Christian sense. But the integral 
nature of the Chinese who was originally a creature of 
sensitiveness and feeling, found out a happy middle course. 
Precisely within the frame of an amassment and organiza- 
tion unparalleled in those early days, all stress was laid 
on the feelings for the neighbour. The life-philosophy of 
Confucius has its roots entirely in the bonds which link 
man to man, in love, friendship, loyalty; in supreme cases, 
in reverence. This is why China has never perished. This 
is why it will survive this crisis, eternally young, however 
long it may last. For the Fountain of Youth for man is the 
sphere of his feelings and emotions, the kingdom of his 
Soul. 



TENTH MEDITATION 



SORROW 



AMONG women, endowed with remarkable gifts 
of mind, I have met with few strong personalities 
who were not self-centred, authoritative and greedy 
of power to a degree rarely found even among South Ameri- 
can caudillos. It is true that as a mother every woman 
suffers from a kind of God-Almighty-complex; and no 
wonder, for out of apparently nothing she creates live 
beings; and the necessity of bearing the responsibility for 
them creates out of itself, as a kind of re-insurance, the 
consciousness that she is capable of bearing unlimited 
responsibility. Nor is it to be wondered at that the possessive 
instinct, predominant in woman, should manifest itself in 
exaggerated forms, where she has particular force and power. 
Women have convictions almost in the same way that they 
possess dresses and men. Hence their desire to be always 
in the right; hence the feeling which cannot easily be 
shaken, that the right is on their side, even if they have 
committed murder. Now, if such exaggerations remain an 
organic part within the structure of woman's normal 
nature and her normal frame of life, they engender no 
pathological deformations; they only make things difficult 
at times. It is different, if there is a real hypertrophy of the 
Ego. For with woman it does not raise personality to a 
higher power, it has a warping effect. It warps woman's 
personality in a similar sense, as the self-consciousness 
which suddenly and overpoweringly awakes with the years 
of puberty begins by warping the youth and makes him a 
churl. Only the years of indiscretion with man are the 
normal preparation for the personal responsibility he takes 
upon himself in his maturity. Woman's nature is incapable 
of thus transferring for the good the centre of her personal- 
ity. Her Ego spreads like a cancer, as soon as it is over- 
stressed; the right adjustment within the cosmic connexion 

291 



292 TENTH MEDITATION 

gives way to a distorted adjustment; her sense of the vital 
coherence of things according to Goethe, woman's most 
essential gift is lost. It is not that woman is incapable of 
being an individuality and a personality; it is that she 
attains her own perfection only within the frame of the 
Emotional Order. Within this order there is no isolation; 
since all emotions are set in one direction, the only life true 
to Sense here is a life lived with relation to others and for 
others, based upon others and directed towards others. 
Accordingly, a personality centred in the emotions grows 
. and thrives best in such an adjustment. In direct contrast 
to man centred in the sphere of reason, who sinks to the 
level of a collective being if his adjustment to others goes 
beyond a certain point, woman, in whom the Ego is over- 
stressed, becomes de-personalized. All women of this kind 
I have known, however gifted they were, bore a greater 
resemblance to each other, and to that extent appeared more 
standardized, than is ever the case with fully developed 
genuinely feminine women. 

Obviously, such women always are unhappy, unless the 
accidental possession of royal power or inordinate wealth 
enables them to hide from themselves their real state, by 
satisfying certain of their impulses and concentrating all 
active attention on these. And since they have stepped out 
of the order true to their nature, such women cannot 
understand that something is amiss with them. But this 
ignorance, again and again, leads to conflicts, confronted 
with which they grow ever more helpless as they grow older. 
They feel it to be a particular unkindness of the Universe 
that lover after lover should leave them ; that their children 
become estranged from them; that they never succeed in 
forming a permanent centre, and that in the course of time 
they grow more and more lonely. That most important 
break in life (of both man and woman, by the way) which 
belongs to the thirties and draws the line between the 



SORROW 293 

youthful person for whom all wish to care, and the adult 
who has himself to care for others, that the right to live for 
himself be further granted to him that break for such 
women marks the beginning of a tragedy, which in reality 
is no tragedy at all, but which they feel as such. Then 
comes into their eyes that expression of dumb, wondering 
fear which belongs to many animals' eyes. And in the end, 
there emanates from their whole personality an ultimate 
sadness; now more in the sense of mourning for a lost 
paradise; now more in that of disappointment that life 
should be so meaningless. In all latitudes I have met 
individuals of the kind described. But among the many 
important experiences I owe to South America, none has so 
profoundly affected me as the experience of how many 
women there emanate that ultimate sadness. For the 
corresponding modality of life there belongs, not only to the 
strong and powerful, but even to the weak; so much so that 
it determines the whole psychical atmosphere. And to this 
South America owes its most intimate charm. The atmos- 
phere is dominated by that mood of deep melancholy 
which early Christianity called the sadness of the creatures. 
Only there this mood is of a wondrous sweetness. One 
evening in the Argentine, I listened to popular bards who 
with immovable faces sang monotonous lays. My ear 
caught the words miel de pesares 'honey of suffering*. I 
could think of no better expression for the peculiar bloom 
and charm of South American grief. 

THE ancient animals 9 fables, and among these the 
myths recording the Creation of the World, give 
truer information about early states than do records which 
expressly refer to humanity. The reason is that the primitive 
soul lives itself out almost completely in projections. C. G. 
Jung, who hitherto has made the deepest investigations in 
this domain, actually admits the possibility that the so-called 
'bush-soul' was a reality pre-existent to the individual soul 



294 TENTH MEDITATION 

which dwells in man.* Thus, the ancient ideas of the sad- 
ness of the creatures and the longing of Creation for its 
Maker probably throw little light on the state of animals 
and plants and also of the first humans. They are all the 
more significant for the Dawn of spiritual consciousness. 
Fear is the original experience of all live creatures; it is 
blind and therefore devoid of problems; it simply exists. 
It belongs to the plane of Gana, and accordingly it is as 
lacking in continuity as is pain, which is dismissed when it 
ceases. Now sadness is an emotion, and for this very reason 
more evanescent, more suspended and therewith more en- 
during. But it is not an emotion which exists from out of 
itself; it cannot be imagined without a spiritual component. 
Its existence presupposes remembrance and foresight, and 
therewith experience in the form of images, however obs- 
cure; at the same time the dim presentiment that things 
might be different than they are. In order to gain an exhaus- 
tive definition of the content of the idea of sadness we need at 
least four co-ordinates which are not fully distinct in the 
English language, but which the French words douleur, 
regret, apprehension and nosta/gie render with tolerable accur- 
acy. This sadness is the basic mood of all humans, whose 
soul is richly gifted, but whose intellect is primitive. 

That this is so, is most easily made manifest by the 
eternally primordial state of Love, Plato called Eros the 
Son of Wealth and Poverty. For our purposes, the follow- 
ing interpretation of the idea implied by the beautiful 
image suffices, however much it may coarsen and reduce it : 
there is none but unhappy love. For longing is its element; 
longing endures through all fulfilment. Therefore, a real 
fulfilment of IOVQ'S desire is impossible. Complete fulfil- 
ment is indeed possible on the plane of Gana; it is attained, 

* Cf. his lecture 'Der archaische Mensch' (Archaic Man) he held in 1930 
at the Jubilee Session of the School of Wisdom in Darmstadt. Printed in 
'Seelenprobleme der Gegenwart' 1932, Rascher and Co., Zurich. 



SORROW 295 

whenever a Gana-melody was allowed to develop and die 
away unimpeded; when experienced from Gana, even 
natural death means not only peace attained, but satisfac- 
tion. However, as soon as 'soul' decides, no exclusive Gana- 
melody any longer means a last resort; for even the simplest 
emotion has a multiplicity of such melodies for its material. 
And as soon as consciousness of Spirit, however dim, comes 
into play, the contradiction which exists between Spirit's 
demand of continuity and the finiteness and mortality of all 
that belongs to the world of Gana becomes the basic experi- 
ence. This contradiction is overcome by a spirituality which 
has risen to such supreme heights, that motives of value and 
Significance decide and the growth and decay of earth-born 
things no longer mean last resorts. Accordingly, the mood 
of those exclusively ruled of Spirit is one of pure joy, even 
though their lives be torment. Judged from all earthly ex- 
perience, there is a most cruel irony underlying that Hindu 
teaching that in the supreme state Being, Knowledge and 
Bliss (sat, chit) ananda) are one; for existence is suffering, 
and knowledge destroys all illusion. And yet it is true, for 
Spirit in itself is neither affected by earthly sorrow, nor can 
it know of disillusion, since it is 'the truth'. But as a basic 
mood, joy is a state spiritualized man alone can know. To 
whomsoever things non-spiritual are last resorts, and who 
yet is conscious of Spirit he must experience, every time 
he takes a synthetic view of life, that it is one long chain of 
deaths. And from this arises, as the original mood of every 
primeval man, whose soul is yet sufficiently devloped to 
experience profoundly, the mood of sorrow in the eternally 
true and original sense of sorrow for the beloved dead. And 
this sorrow grows in proportion to the growing illumina- 
tion of consciousness. Even most primitive reflection de- 
mands that there be coherence, synthetic vision, duration 
and Meaning; and to this demand the reality of Gana-life 
is one single contradiction. Its absolutely binding quality 



296 TENTH MEDITATION 

is contradictory to the dimly divined consciousness of pos- 
sible freedom. Life could and should be different from what 
it is. As it is, it is suffering. 

What Buddha first defined sharply and clearly, is the 
basic mood which rules all primordial tradition. What other 
motif was there in all early cosmogonies, all earliest love- 
songs and laments for the dead, than the antagonism be- 
tween the demands of Spirit and Gana? What other origin 
is there for that myth of Paradise lost which is found all the 
world over? Precisely earliest records are most distinctly 
expressive of the mood of sadness, because the conscious- 
ness that all things are doomed to perish is the stronger and 
profounder, the less the vital significance of reflection which 
explains and promises. Hence the sombre character of the 
earliest gods. They too were perishable, were 'born on the 
near side of Creation', as the Hindu myth significantly 
puts it; and since theirs was otherwise a consciousness of 
freedom, Fate to them meant a double burden. This same 
conflict between Spirit and Gana is the reason why youth is 
the age of melancholy. Dimly the young feel that the present 
state is devoid of sense; for Spirit within them lacks that 
power which their idealism demands. And, again, the ideal- 
ism of youth has no real object; it has no aims of an ultimate 
validity. Youth feels its impulses not as supporting, but as 
overpowering forces. Hence its urge to live a riotous life; 
far more frequently it means the will to deaden feeling than 
wanton pleasure. It is this same original sadness that makes 
youth go so easily to its death. For youth to be happy, 
consciousness must be filled with animal impulses; but 
this state is intermittent; fullness alternates with the sense 
of void, and therefore euphoria with depression. Thus, the 
basic mood of youth in the most progressive nations is sad 
in a similar sense as is the basic mood of all primitives. 
The original key in which humanity experiences life is not 
the major, but the minor key. 



SORROW 297 

In-built into a consciousness of images which trans- 
figures all things, this mood survives in the earliest poetry of 
the Greeks. But the transfiguration falsifies original ex- 
perience. This experience stands on the boundary between 
Day and Night, and its vision is indistinct like that of one 
half-awake, half-blinded by radiance of light. On the Gana- 
continent South America, original sadness rules in a com- 
pletely unadulterated form. And thanks to the constellation 
which probably is unique in space and time, that its inhabi- 
tants are both primitive and individualized, both suscept- 
ible and blind, both receptive for Spirit and primordially 
passive, both emotional and intellectually alert, Original 
Sadness there manifests itself with an uncanny distinctness. 
Argentine tristeza, in particular, is of so elementary, nay 
massive a powerfulness, that it at once conquers any sensi- 
tive new-comer; I know of many who at first harboured 
thoughts of suicide for whole weeks. The passivity and 
lack of imagination characteristic of the Argentines unite 
to keep deeply felt Original Sadness in a perpetual state of 
suspension. These people are not blessed with the gift of 
finding salvation in collective experience, in rites and cere- 
mony, as do primitives endowed with plastic talents. Nor 
can they ab-react fear and sorrow in images, as did the 
Greeks in their tragedies, and the Christians of the Middle 
Ages by experiencing in imagination the Passion of Christ. 
They lack that spiritual initiative which is necessary in 
order to reach the heights of a plane above sadness. This 
creates that basic mood which is characteristic in European 
and North American life of the woman with a hypertro- 
phical consciousness of Self; and this is why I began this 
meditation with a study of her state. It is from her state of 
desolation that the shortest way can be gained which leads 
to an understanding of Original Sadness. 

Only the situation which is fundamentally the same 
appears inordinately intensified in South America. All 



298 TENTH MEDITATION 

life and experience of any importance is passive there ; and 
the fact that life, there is centred in Delicadeza, in its turn 
tends to intensify and exaggerate the experience of sorrow. 
Man is organized in such a way that attention vitalizes and 
stimulates the growth of that on which it becomes fixed. 
Thus, if the stress is laid on vulnerability, this fosters its 
growth. And since there is nothing that, viewed in a certain 
way, may not be wounding to the feelings, the entire uni- 
verse for the man adjusted in the South American manner 
turns into one single tangle of things which would and are 
fraught with danger. In proportion to the readiness to 
suffer, the Ego is increasingly expanded. In the extreme 
case, it ends in a real inflation. And this hypertrophical 
Ego is inward-bent and exclusively self-observing. The 
surrounding world of man which is originally turned out- 
ward to such an Ego, appears drawn inward like the suckers 
of a polyp. When I was contemplating South American 
humanity, there arose before my inner eye the primary 
image of the Mother of Vanity. One day, Original 
Fear and Original Susceptibility wedded, and when the 
hour was come, as the fruit of their union, Woman of 
absolute beauty was born. But this woman could not sur- 
render to the rhythm of the world. From the very first, she 
exacted that the Universe bend to her desires. And when 
the Universe refused, the woman rebelled. She could not 
form a shell to be her shield; nor could she find safety in 
permeability. Thus, she invented as an armour the device 
of reflecting herself in a mirror. 

No armour closes in so hermetically. Within its isolation 
the secluded Ego first grew up. This Ego was not the Self, 
that ultimate personal and subjective reality, that last resort 
of self-consciousness which, when in-built into the whole of 
the psyche, leads to the integration of the whole man. Nor 
was it the Ego of the modern egoist. In early stages the 
latter does not exist; only when instincts of power and lust 



SORROW 299 

are activated by Spirit, can the egoist's specific Ego develop. 
Accordingly, among the most self-immersed of South 
Americans there are hardly any egoists. In the place of 
egoism South America has ensimismamiento\ it is a charac- 
teristic fact that among modern languages Spanish alone 
provides the equivalent; ensimismamiento means literally: 
'immersion in the Self. The primary isolated Ego is a 
specific formation, in which the Unspiritual absolute, what 
is exclusively Gana-like, is intensified to an extreme. This 
Ego lacks all freedom; its essence is inertia understood in 
the sense of physical gravitation. It is isolated, without 
horizon ; it is undisciplinable, immutable ; on closer inspec- 
tion it proves to be no subject at all in the real sense of the 
word: it is an Ego in which the subject becomes enmeshed. 
It is most strange, but is is so, that spiritual consciousness at 
the very first leads to a new fettering, which consciousness 
feels to be even stronger than the shackles forged by the 
orders of Gana and of the emotions, however firmly mortized 
they be. The active Ego which has come into existence as a 
germ, begins by encysting itself within an organ for the for- 
mation of which the most passive qualities of Gana provide 
the material. Born of isolation, it is incapable of opening it- 
self up. Thus, there is no way out of this Ego, so long as it 
remains what it is. We called it the child of Vanity. With 
wonderful depth, language reflects the original meaning of 
this quality, since 'vain 1 means both 'reflecting oneself in a 
mirror' and 'futile'. But the same is implied by the myth 
of the First Fall. Where Spirit permeates the Ego and sub- 
jects it to its own laws, the latter becomes the organ of 
world-openness, like unto the eye which as a body is also an 
isolated thing. But at first the light of Spirit could achieve 
no more than to reflect Self in a mirror, and therewith to 
intensify the specific modality of what is not Spirit. Thus, 
the innocent Evil of the Netherworld turned into guilty 
Evil. Thus, at first, egotization led to a narrowing of Ori- 



300 TENTH MEDITATION 

ginal Nature, For Original Nature vibrates in harmony with 
the general rhythm of the Universe, and accordingly it is 
never isolated. 

If egotized man awakes to the consciousness of this state 
of his, unspeakable sadness must flood him. For now he 
feels fettered and imprisoned in the most helpless of all 
imaginable ways : the fetters and prison which hold him are 
parts of his own self. Thus, he cannot even desire liberty 
with his whole being. The Greek description of the tor- 
ments of Tantalus was inaccurate, since he was not only in- 
capable of reaching what he desired, but could not even 
desire wholeheartedly what he saw before him as the goal 
of his longing. This passive and hermetically closed Ego, in 
which man becomes inextricably enmeshed, is the prototype 
of Hell. Hell existed long before there was any egotism. 
Hell represents a particular organ which must perish in order 
that man become capable of self-determination. Everyone 
can best realize what Hell means when thinking of a life 
which has jealousy for its pivot. Everybody knows and 
feels jealousy. For himself, everyone, like Jahveh, is a 
'jealous God', who claims absolute and undivided recogni- 
tion; and every netherworld harbours demons who would 
destroy whatever does not belong to them; never yet have 
I met a good and kindly man who, when touched at that 
intimate and secret point of his being, where he takes him- 
self ultimately seriously, was not a moloch. But he who, 
over and above this, consciously affirms and stresses his 
jealousy; he who experiences all things in the mood of 
jealousy and judges them from jealousy's point of view, must 
needs at every moment suffer horrible torment. For there 
is nothing that can quench jealousy, nor is there ought that 
may not nourish it; for nothing on earth belongs to one 
man alone in the absolute sense. What is true of jealousy 
applies in principle to all life within the soul-space of the 
passive Ego; for every life of this kind is isolated and unable 



SORROW 301 

to experience bliss and salvation by opening itself up. Such 
a life is a circling within circles without issue. It was thus 
that Dante truthfully described Hell. It is ultimately bind- 
ing bondage. It is solitary confinement without hope of 
grace. In her book De Francesca a Beatrice,* the Argentine 
poetess Victoria Ocampo has shown what enmeshment in 
blind passion in the sphere of Hell means by describing 
Francesca and Paolo as follows: * Francesca and Paolo move 
along together; but whither are they going? Nowhere! 
They move in a circle. Francesca and Paolo are united, but 
how are they united? Wrapped around in tempest and dark- 
ness. Blinded by the darkness of the air, deafened by the 
howling of the wind, they cannot see each other, nor speak 
to each other. They move onward, close-prest, yet blind 
and deaf to one another. Solitary prisoners of night and 
tempest. Prisoners of their own night and their own tempest. 
And the very force which presses them close, each to each, 
is what keeps them apart. They are the errant wanderers of 
their love, they do not dwell in their love. Slaves of the whirl 
which rushes them along, ever driven within a circle whence 
there is no escape, they turn within the space of their pas- 
sion without ever being able to stay their movement, with- 
out ever being able to enjoy each other ... If, at first, 
we think that, exiled in Hell together, they should not suffer 
very terrible torment, this only proves that meditation has 
not yet matured our thoughts. We do not realize that beings 
who suffer such a fate, wherever they go, are never united,, 
but crucified each to each.' This is the description truest 
to life of serfdom to blind Gana which I know of. If such 
thraldom, judged from spiritually conscious man, means Hell 
even when it is Love, complete serfdom to that part of one's 
personal being which knows no freedom, whence there is 

* The French original was published in Paris, Editions Bossard, 140 
Boulevard St. Germain, 1926; the Spanish edition in the Revistade Occidente 
Press, with an epilogue by Jose* Ortega y Gasset. 



302 TENTH MEDITATION 

no issue unless an emotion which itself brings bliss fill 
the soul is Hell's nethermost sphere. When this became 
clear to me, I realized all the sublimity and at the same time 
the profound truth of that image of the most beautiful and 
free of the angels who was precipitated into Hell : he fell, he 
had to fall, because of his own free will he became enmeshed 
in what is without freedom. That is man's own netherworld. 
The man stirred by the faintest touch of spiritual conscious- 
ness, who comes to such a fate, must needs be desolate as the 
damned are desolate. And then, too, I understood why Christ 
preached that to kill the Ego was the condition of salvation. 
Never did He, of all men the most conscious of the uniqueness 
of each soul, never did He think of fighting personality. 
But evidently He was surrounded by men of a nature similar 
to that of the South Americans of to-day. Obviously, in the 
Western colonial world of those days the Ego in its passive 
modality was inflated to a similar degree. And this rudi- 
mentary organ must indeed cease to be, it must merge into 
something higher, before man can set his foot on the path 
which leads to freedom. 

Ever since I have seen Original Sadness in South America, 
it sounds also within me, whenever I plunge my conscious- 
ness into the nethermost deeps of my nature. As soon as 
man becomes but dimly aware of the possible existence of 
coherence and significance and freedom, he must yearn for 
liberation from the Hell of the incoherent, the unmeaning 
and the fettering. And the nearer the dawn of Spirit draws 
to the light of Day while yet Day cannot really break 
the more desolate must he feel. But if, moreover, thejpresen- 
timent that self-determination is possible awakes within him, 
he must feel laden with guilt: he ought to have done better, 
however ignorant he be of how he should have acted. This 
sense of guilt is the reflection of Original Fear in the twi- 
light of dawning Spirit. And out of this sense of guilt and 
the longing for liberation from ultimate impotency grows 



SORROW 303 

the image of a possible Redeemer. That sadness which 
first was suspended becomes set in one direction as the cry 
of the creatures for their Maker. From the consciousness 
that Life, which is suffering experience, cannot of itself 
break its bonds ascends the prayer: veni creator spiritus. 
And thus man first feels urged to strive not after self-de- 
termination, but after a determination by something that is 
outside himself. Hence the original urge to be allowed to 
obey. For him who is not yet capable of self-determination, 
there is but one solution of Life's equation : to let himself 
be ruled by Spirit from without. Thus, children would obey. 
Thus, women near to Nature would receive their laws at the 
hands of man. Thus, minors for their own happiness must 
be disciplined by superiors. Thus, to be able to believe 
blindly in a given dogma means bliss for all whose personal 
Self is not ruled by Spirit so profoundly rooted that, by 
following their personal laws, they can fulfil their spiritual 
longing too. The possibility of self-determination begins 
with Good Will which man feels to be his last resort. True 
self-determination begins with responsibility consciously 
borne. Hence its decisive importance. We have dealt with 
the objective Evil of the netherworld and with Evil as the 
natural consequence of wounded susceptibility, or of incom- 
patibility : all this is not evil in the spiritual sense. Spiritual 
Evil is born solely of personal and spiritual decision for 
the spiritual meaning of Evil. It is right that for the law the 
question of guilt is inseparable from the question of respon- 
sibility. 

HARDLY had I breathed the atmosphere of South 
America than I gave it the name of the Continent of 
Sorrow. In the communion with its inhabitants all that 
creates this mood became conscious and determinant with- 
in me. For some time I myself lost all sense of freedom. 
What is blind gained predominance over that which sees; 
passivity became predominant over initiative. And since 



TENTH MEDITATION 

this state was previously unknown to me, I probably suf- 
fered more torment of Hell than ever South Americans 
suffer. But when amid the shadows of darkness I began to 
gain inward ascendancy, I realized what I could never have 
foreseen and what before I should have rejected as absurd: 
that South American sadness is worth more than all North 
American optimism and all Neo-European idealism. 

Both indeed stand for superficial Spirit. Both live out or 
exploit, more or less mechanically and without being 
touched to their inward depths, the logical possibilities of 
creative understanding; they do not proceed from the 
spiritual deeps of man, nor do they lead there. Now South 
American tristeza is profoundest experience of earthly depth. 
It is experience of deepest reality, and this is the only thing 
that matters. Nobody experiences the whole of reality. But 
he who really experiences profoundly one reality, has 
potentially gained access to all reality; -for everywhere the 
deeps correspond to the deeps, and surface to surface ; never 
and nowhere is there a correspondence between depth and 
surface. Thus, he who profoundly experiences his earthly 
roots, even though he know nothing of vital Spirit, is better 
prepared to receive and conceive Spirit than any intellec- 
tualist or moralist; thus, his ignorance of Spirit is of greater 
value than all European science of Spirit, in the same sense 
that Socrates's ignorance was more valuable than the 'omni- 
science' of the sophists. The South American is the areli- 
gious and antimetaphysical man par excellence. How should 
it be otherwise, since his consciousness almost exclusively 
means consciousness of Earth? To him, scepticism with 
regard to what belongs to Spirit must mean the last word. 
His doubt is something profounder than his faith. For in 
his case, faith can only be blind belief in dogmas blind 
belief in dogmas not as a primitive acceptance of incompre- 
hended though dimly realized metaphysical reality, but as 
an absolute safeguard against all metaphyscial problema- 



SORROW 305 

tism. Faith of this kind is the purest of all expressions of 
Original Fear. Accordingly, the Catholic Church in South 
America is no more than an institution of sorcery, such as are 
most of the objectivations of Indian religious feeling. What 
in Europe is faith, has turned to pure superstition in South 
America. 

But as opposed to this, everything that refers to earth in 
South America is profound. This was true in Indian days 
of the forms of life in Peru and Mexico. Ancient Peruvian 
cult was consciously not cult of Spirit, but of Earth. The 
Sun was worshipped not as a symbol, but as a material fact. 
And thus, virtue, justice and law were understood and prac- 
tised in the sense of what they mean with regard to the 
rhythm of Earth ; the common denominator of all ideals was 
Health. Thus the State of the Incas on the surface bore a 
great resemblance to the modern socialist State of general 
welfare. For the social-minded Jew and his scion, the modern 
Christian, who is assimilating himself more and more to 
him, material well-being means a demand of Spirit. Now 
such an idea proves complete superficiality; for spiritual 
goals have no exponent in material advantage, nor does hap- 
piness correspond to the Significance of an earthly life, 
whose essence is suffering. The philosophy of the Incas 
did not conceal from itself any of these truths. It faced 
Death, in particular, with an ultimate realism. But from 
the basis of Delicadeza it beautified and sweetened whatever 
was capable of being filled or covered with beauty and sweet- 
ness. Now ancient Mexico stood in the same relationship to 
Soviet-Russia, as Peru stood to the modern State of general 
welfare. In both States, the most tremendous tension; 
superlative social-mindedness and human sacrifice condi- 
tioned each other. Nevertheless, the holocausts of the 
Tsheka mean something totally different from Mexico's 
ecstasy of blood-shedding. In Soviet-Russia, vital Spirit 
has sold itself to the laws of non-Spirit. Thus, it denies 



3 o6 TENTH MEDITATION 

Spirit as well as all earthly pathos; killing for Russia means 
nothing but substraction for the sake of profit. Whereas 
the Mexican cult of Blood was a manifestation of the ecstasy 
of the Flesh, the stepping forth out of the Flesh, the exact 
polar opposite of the stepping forth into Spirit, which is 
ecstasy as it is usually understood. Where experience of 
metaphyscial spiritual reality is physiologically impossible, 
enthusiasm must needs find its supreme expression in the 
ecstasy of blood-shedding. The basic mood even of modern 
Mexico as D. H. Lawrence rightly says can best be ren- 
dered by the cry of Viva la Muerte\ But ancient Mexico 
was, at the same time, the country of the most exquisite 
cult of flowers, where Soviet-Russia proscribes all beauty. 
This alone is proof positive of Mexico's depth, as opposed to 
neo-Russia's superficiality. 

The idea that virtue is health, the peculiar relationship to 
Blood and Death which was characteristic of the ancient 
Indian cults proves the existence of an essential soul-com- 
munion with the reality of Earth. And thus the modern 
South American's sceptical attitude towards Spirit does not 
mean superficiality, but sincerity born of profundity. When 
meditating on the souls of the gauchos and the Indians of 
the High Tablelands, when trying to fathom the deeps of 
remarkable natives of European extraction, I realized what 
a sorry thing the profession of faith in Spirit is with most of 
the modern Europeans. When Leo Tolstoy declared that a 
single pair of boots is more valuable than the whole of 
Shakespeare, he stood revealed in a singularly drastic form 
as what he essentially was: the father of Bolshevism. And 
yet he was more honest and to that extent profounder than 
nine hundred and ninety-nine among a thousand modern 
apostles of intellectual and artistic culture. For at bottom 
they too are Bolshevists. What do cultural values mean to 
him whojdoes not live in the same sense from out of under- 
standing and creative Spirit, as the genuine Christian lives 



SORROW 307 

out of his faith? Above all: in what respect can culture be 
a goal? Why should cultural life be more valuable than brute 
existence? What is the good of all progress, since life is 
born and perishes as it did on the First Day? Why should 
one deepen knowledge and understanding? The mere 
possibility of the sudden transformation of the idealistic 
European into the Russo-American materialist alone suf- 
fices to prove that modern spirituality is no longer fed from 
any deep well-spring. If one of the most gifted among the 
youth of France could recently assert that the Meaning of 
Life possibly lies in the fact that occasionally a really good 
book is published, this is proof positive of down-right de- 
spiritualization. Spiritual man merely takes pleasure, as he 
does in a park full of trimmed trees and hedges, in a life 
amid spirit-born phenomena. Now these spiritual pheno- 
mena are not profounder, they are very much more super- 
ficial and unsubstantial than the dullest creations of Nature. 
Looked at from this vantage, the barbarization which has 
set in since the end of the World War in Europe acquires a 
positive aspect: surely Blood, Earth, Death, Love and 
Hate are more essential and important things than all 
possible cultural acquisitions. 

The idealism of the European intellectual is indeed rarely 
anything better than cowardice which dreads facing reality. 
The high-brow stands in the same relationship to however 
blind a young fanatic who stakes his life for the ideal of 
building up a new and better world, as a night-porter stands 
to Icarus. Every aesthete is a good-for-nothing as compared 
with a Bolshevist who is an atheist from conviction. A philoso- 
phy which thinks the correct definition of the Umheit des 
Raums (the round-aboutness of space) important, is far 
more superficial than an indifferent art of cooking. And 
a religion which, as a relationship to Spirit, is not as personal 
as the relationship between mother and child, is either a 
poor joke or blasphemy. 



308 TENTH MEDITATION 

How profound, as compared with the overwhelming 
majority of European intellectuals, is the gaucho who makes 
the sign of the cross to express this doubts! How far more 
honest also with regard to the true experience of the larger 
number of Europeans is the Bolivian formula that the 
deceased 'remained indifferent', as compared with the one 
in general use: that he died in the Lord! And, to repeat, 
this is so precisely in so far as the South American is areli- 
gious and antimetaphysical ; depth as such is what matters 
first and last. Hence the Christian doctrine that the sinner 
is nearer to salvation than the righteous who adheres to 
the letter of his faith ; to believe in the letter is in itself a 
proof of superficiality. But all South American depth is 
indeed depth in the direction of earth. Nothing could be 
more misleading than the frequent asssertion of the Argen- 
tines that their tristeza is identical in meaning with the 
melancholy of the Arabs and the Russians. The heroic 
Bedouin who looks with grim scepticism on the joys of this 
life, on the other hand feels secure within the shelter of his 
God; therefore, ultimately, his mood is one of joy, however 
much he suffer. Whereas the core of the religious Rus- 
sian is his faith in the mystery of Eastertide. He believes 
that through Christ's sacrifice Death is conquered 'even 
now', this very moment, to-day, to-morrow, evermore, for 
each and all, however terribly the creatures may suffer. 
Thus, the religious Russian is in the same sense essentially 
blessed, as was the early Christian martyr. And the Hindu 
is the very polar opposite of the South American. Buddha 
has understood the meaning of Gana as none has ever 
fathomed it since. The clinging to Life, according to him, 
is life's origin. Greed keeps it going, eating and being eaten 
is on all planes its way, and suffering, true tristeza, its basic 
character. Etafl ifhe 'fully awakened' showed a way to annul 
suffering. As'ppposed to this, South American tristeza is a 
Hell without issue. But Hell lies at greater depths than 



SORROW 309 

earth's surface. And he only who has realized the Hell with- 
in himself is ripe for Heaven. Hence the myth of Christ 
who had to descend to Hell ere He could enter into the 
Glory of the Father. 

MY pilgrimage to South America meant for me^a de- 
scent into the netherworld. But since I came from 
Spirit, the darkness in which I was enmeshed served to 
clarify what was not clear before. One of the first results 
I observed was that all fear of death ceased to be. For years 
it had weighed upon me more than on most mortals. As I 
became conscious of my nethermost depths, it ceased: since 
the earthly part of my nature was recognized and accepted, 
it no longer needed to struggle for its existence; and Spirit 
knows nought of death. But then I could experience with- 
in myself and finally trace in thought the primary road which 
led man from the bondage of Nature to spiritual freedom ; 
and thus to-day I believe I know how it all came about. 
With the first dawn of the Day of Spirit, sadness flooded 
man's whole being. When Spirit in-built itself into the sub- 
ject, wherewith the latter became personally determinant, 
sadness changed into tragic sense of life. The ultimate goal 
that beckons is Joy. 

In South American sadness there is nothing tragic. It is 
a suspended suffering, as it were, in accordance with the pure 
passivity of earliest life. The problem of conquest of suf- 
fering does not arise. The dim perception that there is a 
reality not of this earth, or superior to this earth, can only 
manifest itself on this stage in the form of an undefined suf- 
fering from what one does not know and of irhirh 
feels, or divines obscurely, that it ought t 
typical of this stage is art; in particular, art 
the dance, poetry and music; this is why arjfs^fRTbe found 
in the earliest stages of humanity, and why 
those primeval days. Art lifts man out of hi 
tion by objectifying his inner being, and 




3 io TENTH MEDITATION 

tirely personal vibrate in harmony with the beat and measure 
of the grander rhythms of earth and universe; or else it 
robs it of its personal quality by making a mask of it. It is 
not correct to say that such early art is or manifests religion : 
it reflates religion. And since it does not replace religion 
with something superficial, but with something profound, 
that is, spiritual depth with earthly depth, there is indeed 
every reason to call earliest art profound. The artist is the 
sublimated Man of the Earth. He is the anti-ascetic ; for 
he surrenders entirely to his emotions, feelings and moods. 
Accordingly, very few of his kind ever were religious. For 
this very reason, the artist in early states means more than 
the priest. The priest in primitive states is the magician; 
he is no liberator, no redeemer, no mediator of Grace, but 
the man who knows how to bind in a different and more 
uncanny way than does Nature. In earliest stages, the artist 
alone liberates. And this will ever remain so. What once 
was true of the singers of Greece and the Nordic skalds 
applies to-day to the Argentine payador. 

When Spirit in the form of spiritual initiative first breaks 
into consciousness, so that ab-reaction in poetry no longer 
means the ultimate possible solution, the feeling of desola- 
tion without issue turns into consciousness of the tragedy of 
Life, which demands heroic action. The attitude which 
then decides is not the attitude of the sufferer, but that of the 
fighter. But the fight of the first tragic fighter is fought with 
the conscious sense of its hopelessness. For Life's equation 
has no solution. The nature of Gana and Spirit's demands 
clash. To the demand of continuity is opposed irrevocable 
finiteness and isolation. No fulfilment is that which longing 
longed for. What Original Hunger posits as a matter of 
course, such as murder, rapine, violation, and life at the 
expense of alien life, means to consciousness of Spirit a 
problem or an abomination. Therewith, innocence and 
clear conscience are lost. On all sides, henceforth, arises 



SORROW 311 

the menacing problem of guilt. Satisfaction can no longer 
be the goal ; ever and ever anew, man is faced by the stern 
alternative of greatness or happiness. The claims of Ori- 
ginal Fear are felt to be ignominious, and yet they are Life's 
first guarantee. Everywhere Significance is felt to be ulti- 
mately decisive, and yet again and again non-Sense carries 
the day, yet does it ever and ever again win the final victory 
on earth: for the destruction of what is valuable, which 
Death as such posits as an unavoidable fate, means the very 
essence of counter-sense. To the consciousness of free- 
dom, Nature's reality sets an insuperable limit. Thus, the 
state of sadness without issue is followed by the state of 
tragedy without issue. 

With the consciousness of the latter began the emancipa- 
tion of man ; when he came to rule, his modality of being 
began to overlay that of original life which woman incar- 
nates. Man's essential warriordom is not due to the fact that 
in man Original Hunger predominates in the stead of 
Original Fear; were it so, the males of the animal world, too, 
would be warlike, which is not true even of the beasts of 
prey. Man's warriordom means acceptance of, and consent 
to, the tragedy of Life. It was because man is determined by 
Spirit, not because he is physically the stronger, that man 
henceforth played so prominent a part, that we know only of 
history of man (as opposed to woman); indeed, there can 
only be history of man, for only man's modality of life de- 
mands dynamism, progress, and ascent. What theory de- 
mands is corroborated by all history. With the consciousness 
that Life's equation has no solution, both the patriarchalism 
and the spiritual career of the Greeks set in. Deeply em- 
bedded in, and bound to earth, they wrested themselves 
free in a heroic urge from the laws of Earth; but with them 
the navel-string riveting them to earth was not severed 
down to the times of the sophist philosophers; even for the 
Greeks of later ages, Hercules remained the original sym- 



312 TENTH MEDITATION 

bol of man's destiny. The sombre undertone of Moira 
which was stronger even than the gods, still echoed in their 
dithyrambs. Sense of tragedy dominated the Aryans of the 
days of the Rigveda, however much, even with these earliest 
Hindus, the light of Spirit already dimmed the conscious 
realization of all problems of the earth. Zarathustra's 
teaching was tragic through and through. Tragic sense of 
life is the basic meaning of the primary religion of the Nordic 
Teuton, which was completely amoral and unintellectual. 
It drove man to consent to the Unknown, to self-immola- 
tion without clearly realized aims or objects; even to-day, 
this primary feeling again and again breaks through in the 
German and then finds its expression in absolutely irrational 
and senseless heroism. But the prototype of the tragic sense 
of life is incarnated by the Spaniards. Their whole being is 
earth-bent. They lacked and still lack that gift of plastic 
creation which enables man to find salyation in art. They 
lacked and still lack the gift of creating theories which rob 
life's facts of their reality. Accordingly, their experience of 
Spirit had to express itself blindly and naively, without any 
sparing of their feelings, without concealment of unresolv- 
able contradictions and without consolatory promises of a 
Beyond of any kind. Out of this most tragic of all tragic 
senses of life arose the grand figure of Don Quixote. The 
exemplar of the man who lives from within with absolute 
single-mindedness, true only to the laws of his own being. 
Of the man, who solitary and alone, fights the Universe 
and to that extent has the courage to ultimate ridicule. Who 
dies declared mad, and is at bottom and ultimately right. 

With the tragic sense of Life all spirituality set in which 
wrested itself from the fetters of earth, and did not descend 
upon man as a revelation and a grace from Heaven. If but 
few mortals still know of this tragic sense of life, the reason 
is that we know nought but late or rudimentary states, and 
that primary feelings cannot be understood from modern 



SORROW 313 

premises. For after a certain degree of determination by 
Spirit has been attained a degree soon reached gen- 
uine tragic sense of life ceases to exist as a matter of natural 
necessity; be it that it becomes actually impossible, be it 
that superstructures and protective measures render it inac- 
cessible to consciousness. Where pure Spirit decides, there 
can be no tragedy; for Spirit-determination turns all con- 
flicts into means of Sense-realization, just as it is the tight- 
ened strings of an instrument that make music possible. 
Thus, the character of man's life grows ever less tragic as it 
becomes increasingly permeated by Spirit. It is ridiculous 
to call Socrates' fate tragic: freely and with a smile he 
accepted death, once he had recognized that to die at that 
moment was true to the meaning of his life. The fate of 
Jesus was tragic only during those brief moments when, in 
Gethsemane and on the Cross, He doubted his own mission. 
Tragedy stands and falls with primary and determinant 
consciousness of the unresolvable tension between the law 
of Earth and Spirit's demands. Accordingly, no objectified 
spiritual religion knows ought of the tragedy of life. To the 
Hindus of later ages Nature was Maya therewith all 
earthly tension was bereft of its reality. For early Chris- 
tianity, which is still vital in Russia, death and pain were 
overcome 'even now', since every Christian could realize 
Christ's resurrection for himself. On the basis of another 
kind of constellation of circumstances, the Chinese of the 
great days, too, knew of no tragedy; thanks to a peculiar 
adjustment to the mean between Nature and Spirit, the 
Chinese experienced both as a unified connection and made 
himself at home there with supreme art of living; every 
urge beyond it he cut off by asking no questions to which 
there are no answers and by taking no unresolvable conflict 
seriously.* But wherever Spirit in its creative aspect in later 

* The best exposition I know of this decisively important aspect of 
Chinese life is contained in the lecture 'Chinesische Heiterkeit' held by 



3H TENTH MEDITATION 

ages became determinant, it was preceded by a time of 
dominant tragic sense of life. Therefore, the records of all 
earliest states tell of the history of heroes; and every world 
of heroes is a tragic world par definition. But, again, this 
period was preceded everywhere by a period dominated by 
a sadness such as rules modern South America. 

From here we understand why spirituality has nowhere 
set in with striving for knowledge. Intelligence is an instru- 
ment of earthly life like any other function which serves to 
maintain and foster it. The skins of Brazilian frogs and 
toads own faculties which surpass the inventions the brain 
of the greatest genius can make. The organs of the fish of 
the deep seas represent in the form of vital organs some- 
thing indentical with the most ingenious and subtle instru- 
ments invented by technical science. It is a fundamental 
mistake to judge earth-bent intellect as something different in 
kind from all the other means life has invented for the purpose 
of holding its own. And understanding originally means 
vital correspondence as such; this, too, is nothing spiritual. 
Understanding can indeed become the supreme expression 
of Spirit-determination ; but it can be none of its early ex- 
pressions for the one reason alone that it is of a passive 
quality and therefore does not practically lead beyond the 
plane of determinant Nature. The man who seeks Truth 
for its own sake does indeed live from out of Spirit. But this 
problem could not arise, before a high stage of spiritualiza- 
tion had been reached. As long as recognition is a servant 
to Life, instead of Life's being a servant to Truth, all know- 
ledge and desire for knowledge are purely biological func- 
tions. 

After I had recognized as a prejudice the idea that Spirit 
is originally spirit of recognition, the problem presented 

Baroness Leonie von Ungern Stern berg at the session of the School of Wisdom 
in Darmstadt, April 1930. Printed in the Neuc Schweizir Rundschau, July 
1931. 



SORROW 315 

itself to my mind how the current equation could possibly 
have originated. Against the background of the command to 
lie implied in Brazilian Delicadeza, this too became clear to 
me. Socrates grew to be the father of science, because he 
made intellect responsible, wherewith he established the 
primacy of Logos over Life. But the culture of truth which 
to-day rules Europe and North America, and which should 
more aptly be called culture of sincerity, would never have 
sprung from the spirit of Socrates. This culture is the child 
of the knightly vow which prescribed to everyone who 
aspired to be called a true man to keep his promise and to 
answer with all his life for every utterance. Therewith the 
lie was depreciated. If later science dared to strive beyond 
all limits, the physiological raison d'ltre was that all motives 
of Delicadeza were thrown into the background by the com- 
mand to be true to one's own convictions under all circum- 
stances, even at the risk of life. When this idea struck me, 
I saw through the entire connexion of things. It would not 
indeed be correct to affirm that the problem of Spirit in the 
first place arose as a practical, and not as a theoretical prob- 
lem. But not because practice did not precede theory, but 
because Spirit was there and worked first just as unprob- 
lematically as do all other realities. The original expression 
of Spirit was pure, simple and initiatory self-assertion of 
that within man, which does not belong to the sphere of 
Gana. And this is courage. 

The original expression of a state in which the personal 
decides, as opposed to the state of bondage to Gana, may 
indeed be called Original Courage. Courage is the original 
conqueror of Original Fear. It is the conqueror of Original 
Hunger. Courage is the first to lift life from the plane of 
passivity onto that of personal initiative. Courage is some- 
thing absolutely un-natural. Courage is absolute non-Sense 
from the standpoint of Original Fear; for the latter demands 
that life be safeguarded at all costs, not that it be exposed to 



3i6 TENTH MEDITATION 

danger. Nor is courage ever one with Original Hunger; 
for all its meaning lies in the mastering of instincts and im- 
pulses. Self-mastery, as opposed to self-indulgence, is its 
essence. For the rest, Courage is something substantially 
real and positive; nothing has so immediate an influence on 
all creatures as Courage. Wherever it inserts itself, it trans- 
poses all existing connexions, it gives all happenings a new 
significance and a new direction. To that extent, Courage is 
the magic force par excellence. And since it works only 
through a personal subject, and is inseparable from the 
latter's existence, Courage is the prototype of all spiritual 
force. Here, too, language shows a profounder understand- 
ing than all later philosophy. The Latin word animus, for 
instance, means both 'Spirit' and 'Courage'. That millen- 
nial misunderstanding under which we are labouring to-day 
so much so that many expect salvation to come from a 
discarding of Spirit is chiefly due to the fact that 'thinkers' 
first posited the problem of Spirit ; when they, the cool and 
sober, observed the men who incarnated courage, the inter- 
pretation naturally suggested itself to them that the latter 
were men possessed by passion. The Hindus alone of all 
the peoples whose tradition is still vital the Hindus to 
whom knowledge means not perception, but inward realiza- 
tion,* did not fall a prey to the prejudice of intellect. Spirit 
to them was a state of being, and they felt it to be man's 
task to help it acquire the predominant position within the 
organism as a whole. Now this, according to them, was pos- 
sible only by means of Yoga, of the mastery of all the forces 
of the soul. Yoga presupposes initiative and consistency; 
indeed it is this and nothing else. Hence in the country 
of the Yogis par excellence, in Thibet, ascetic discipline with 

* German *Inne-Werden*. I take over this distinction from Heinrich 
Zimmer's Ewlgcs Indlen (Potsdam 1931, Miillcr & Kiepenheuer Verlag). 
I recommend this booklet as being the most concise and understanding 
exposition of the peculiar premises of Hindu wisdom I know. 



SORROW 317 

the object of gaining higher psychical powers is consciously 
practiced as the noblest and most dangerous of sports.* For 
the rest it is not to be wondered at that but few peoples have 
truly grasped the essence of Spirit: for the very reason that 
its original essence is Courage, the most spiritual humans 
as a rule were no thinkers. They were men of action and 
candidly realized Spirit, without troubling about theory. But 
Courage is what decides even with men who are most 
spiritualized in the intellectual sense: to the exact extent 
that a man takes inward risk upon himself, and succeeds in 
overcoming the natural momentum of the psyche, to that 
extent do original ideas come to him. Even so did Chris- 
tianity correctly interpret the relationship of merit and 
grace. And Spirit on the other hand can already manifest 
itself in the form of courage, where there is hardly any 
power of imagination and where the setting of goals is 
physiologically impossible. This is why Courage was the 
earliest virtue extolled by all men on earth. This also is the 
meaning of the particular cult of courage among the Argen- 
tines who are originally passive and reserved from sensitive- 
ness. The outpouring quality of Courage, the 'in-spite-of- 
air which it opposes to Nature's superior power, is the ori- 
ginal affirmation of a reality which is not of the world of 
inertia. When this became clear to me, history acquired for 
me a new meaning. It was not brute ferocity which made 
war the father of all things ; on the contrary, it was the will 
to tame the brute. Courage out of itself creates the technique 
of discipline. And since the conquerors of nations and of 
Self were of one and the same ascetic nature, earliest memory 
of man everywhere bears record of kings and saints who 
acted side by side. These incarnations of Spirit existed even 

* The supremely interesting books of Alexandra David-Neel Initiations 
lamaiques (Paris 1930 e*d. Adyar) and Mystiques et Magiciens du Thibet 
(Paris 1929, Plon) should be read. Of all the books I know they are the most 
illuminating books on practical Yoga. 



3i8 TENTH MEDITATION 

in those early days when all knowledge and understanding 
still was the speciality of the cowardly and deceitful dwarf. 
/^tOURAGE as such is blind. Now if a consciousness of 
V^images, however dim, is added, religion is born ; religion 
which is the feeling of tiedness to something which belongs 
neither to Gana nor to the surrounding world, and which 
therefore is fraught with mystery and dread ; what Rudolph 
Otto calls numinosum and tremendum is really the primary 
expression of religious experience. Only, fear of the uncanny 
is not the primary phenomenon, but the courage which 
dares look it in the face; it is only the indistinct mirrored 
reflection of the unknown entity, from which the miracle 
of courage could arise, that engenders fear. However much 
every devloped religion be permeated by motives of fear 
to the true meaning of religion these motives are thoroughly 
antagonistic. This meaning lies in the correlation between 
assertion of the existence of God and' self-assertion, both of 
which are independent in the same sense of all empiric 
truth. Such courage to assert and affirm what is empirically 
uncertain or unproven, is what one calls/ai/A. 

This one short trend of thought makes it evident, why 
religion from the very first was a realm of faith and not of 
knowledge, and why all shifting of the stress onto its con- 
tents of knowledge must needs destroy it. Faith like cour- 
age is purely outpouring; it is actus purus in contradistinc- 
tion to every form of re-action. Faith like courage rests on 
consent to uncertainty. This is what Miguel de Unamuno 
means when he writes that truly vital faith lives upon doubt 
and does not conquer it. Doubt belongs to an altogether 
different plane than faith, and the mere understanding of 
this fact dismisses the idea as contrary to Sense that there 
can be an equation between knowledge and faith. Now if 
Courage overcomes elementary Original Fear, Faith over- 
comes that fear which is born of imagination. And faith 
conquers this fear with the help of means which are the 



SORROW 319 

direct opposite to those natural to Original Fear: it con- 
quers not by creating security, but by emphasizing the 
autonomous power of Spirit which, since it does not belong 
to Gana, is affected by none of the motives of Gana. One 
may indeed condense the contradiction between knowledge 
and faith by saying: religion is the realm of faith not by 
virtue of the truth which is believed, but by virtue of the 
act of faith. The meaning and value of faith always and 
everywhere lie in the quality of the believer. To that extent 
primordial and completely blind faith, for which the question 
of knowledge does not even arise, is far profounder in the 
connexion of religion, than any faith which adheres to the 
letter, however vital it be; for with the latter the motive of 
security already plays so prominent a part, that real 'merit' 
is lost. This primordial blind faith always was and still is 
the faith peculiar to Spain, and on this rests Spain's peculiar 
spiritual depth. In its essence Spain's faith, even in its most 
Christian days, was a faith in 'Nought', a 'nadism' as 
Miguel de Unumuno calls it. But it was a faith all the 
stronger in the sense of the act of faith. The truly religious 
Spaniard always was and even to-day is ruled by the pure 
inward urge of Spirit with such power and purity, and at 
the same time so independently of all aims and objects, that 
one might call his life a pure out-pouring of imagination 
unconscious of itself. The religious Spaniard incarnates the 
prototype of the metaphysical adventurer. The most vital 
spirit works through him, but its bearer is so devoid of all 
desire for security, that he hardly asks the question of truth 
at all. For even his profession of the most definite dogma 
lacks every scientific motive. Even the most believing Span- 
iard has always been a sceptic. He simply asserted, and this 
assertion of his he forced upon the world. 

If later ages have thought essential the object of faith, it 
is because they misunderstood that mechanism of reflection, 
thanks to which man proposes as a thing seemingly set before 



320 TENTH MEDITATION 

him what in reality drives him from within. All early nations 
endowed with religious gifts knew better. How easily did 
gods in India come and go ! How freely were the poets of 
Greece allowed to invent myths! True, in the last analysis 
it is not indifferent what a man believes in, provided he be- 
lieves at all. This, however, is so, not because mental image 
and external truth should be in accord with each other, but 
because Spirit is Significance in its essence. Even where 
man is conscious only of his courage, he is driven from with- 
in by something which in its external projection manifests 
itself as a symbolic image. To that extent the external 
image is representative of inward reality; to that extent the 
spiritual value of the former allows one to draw conclusions 
with reference to the latter. But for this very reason, the 
standard of scientific critique can never be applied here, but 
solely that of true correspondence. Where primary and 
blind Original Courage is the only possible means of mani- 
festation, the inner meaning expresses itself, true to Sig- 
nificance, as blind adventurousness. Where seeing con- 
sciousness of Spirit first wrests itself from Gana, the images 
are crosses between Gana and Spirit; hence the terrific 
aspect they frequently present; in all cases they are contrary 
to all the norms of the upper world; think of the many- 
armed, many-breasted divinities of India, or better still of 
the terrific gods of Mexico. Even the symbol of the dying 
god still belongs to this hybrid sphere. No wonder that 
precisely this incomprehensible and terrifying quality should 
stimulate intellect, as its illumination increases, to interpret, 
and that thus religion more and more becomes theology, 
and finally science. 

Hence faith, and not knowledge and not understanding is 
the primary expression of autonomous spirituality, as soon 
as the stages of pure courage and blind tragic sense of life 
are passed. Faith precedes all that we are wont to call spiri- 
tual to-day for this reason alone that its body belongs to the 



SORROW 321 

emotional and not to the rational order; and the develop- 
ment of the former precedes the formation of the latter. 
But spiritual life in all stages remains essentially faith; 
therefore religion is not only the first but the last word of 
spirituality. If Gana-life means being lived, being driven 
by the netherworld, spiritual life means an affirmation of the 
autonomous and outpouring quality of a subject. Hence, 
spiritual life never is interpretation, that is, something secon- 
dary: it is primary sense-bestowal. The fact that science 
can only re-trace things in thought and interpret, where 
religion affirms, proves the former's lack of spirituality. 
All spiritual life is, in the last resort, assertion of a specific 
spiritual being. Thus all spirituality ultimately rests upon 
the overcoming of nature's truth by a Truth inward and 
spiritual; an alien world is drawn into the spiritual sphere, 
or else the laws of the latter are imposed on the former. This 
is the meaning of all culture. This is the sole tenable and 
generally valid meaning of all life ruled by Spirit. To that 
extent, spiritual life is always dogmatic and not critical. 
And if from here one asks the question of truth, the answer 
is : Truth manifests itself in the fact that what was not true 
before, becomes true. The man who confides in others, 
creates confidence. He who believes, changes Reality. 
Never will knowledge conquer faith. What the growing 
illumination of understanding consciousness conditions and 
makes possible is solely this, that blind faith changes slowly 
into seeing faith. With Faith as such Spirit stands and 
falls. 

LET us revert from here to the original theme of our 
meditation. First was Sorrow in a state of suspension, 
as it were. From this grew tragic sense of life. We can now 
understand why the last and supreme stage is Joy. In this 
world as it is, and seen and realized as it is, man can be 
joyous only when Spirit has become ultimately decisive within 
him, and when he is at one with Spirit's laws and aims. But 



322 TENTH MEDITATION 

this presupposes that the passive Ego be exploded or dis- 
solved. The man whose Ego is overstressed in the passive 
attitude is the desolate man. But this explosion or dissolu- 
tion of the passive Ego, on the other hand, succeeds only 
from Spirit which has gained supremacy. From Spirit 
which is pure initiative and which therefore cannot be 
bound by inert Gana. He who is truly permeated by Spirit 
has gained salvation. Indeed, he who has overcome Ori- 
ginal Fear within himself and the striving for security; he 
who has disciplined his Original Hunger, who clings to no 
thing; he in whom inner freedom has gained victory over 
and thus annihilated thraldom what Hell is there to hold 
him? He is indeed beyond all Hell; what outwardly still 
looks like Hell, is Purgatory. And the more the fires of pur- 
gatory chasten him, the more does pain of its own accord 
turn into joy. At the end beckons perfect Bliss. 

It may be that I have seen more sadness and sorrow into 
South America than actually abides there. But what are all 
the facts of the world as compared with one symbolic image 
which quickens what is most intimate and individual? In 
South America it became clear to me that much of my pre- 
vious joy had been due to overlaying, or to the fact that I 
had refused to see reality as it is. Had I not gone and been 
drawn to those remote lattiudes, I might never have entered 
upon the path to ultimate joy which ever since I am walking. 
And had I not been severed from my own world, so that I 
was compelled to face the problems of that world, totally 
alien to my Conscious, which assailed me, I should hardly 
have realized that surrender is necessary precisely for the 
gaining of ultimate self-determination. The road which 
leads beyond original pain and sorrow does not carry di- 
rectly to ascendency over pain. The first stage on the road 
leading from the Sadness in Creation to the bliss of the 
union with creative Spirit, is the transformation of the fear 
of suffering to the courage to suffer. Every path to joy 



SORROW 323 

leads through pain which man consents to and takes upon 
himself. 

The religious tradition of all ages is right. The results 
of our last meditation give a meaning also to all history, 
such as its course has actually been. Courage and Faith 
are the first spirit-born forces. If spiritual reality gains 
supremacy, then the world of Gana is disciplined, the nether- 
world is kept in roads in which it serves what is spiritually 
good, and therewith Hell is vanquished or destroyed. This 
is the meaning of the symbol of Apollo who kills the python. 
This is the meaning of the symbol of Christ who crushes the 
head of the serpent. In South America, genuine meta- 
physical consciousness has become co-determinant in one 
place only: in Mexico. Accordingly, Mexican tristeza is 
the only kind of South American sadness of which tragic 
sense of life forms an integral part. But true to the character 
of the continent, the symbol of the re/igio to a Beyond is 
entirely different than anywhere else on earth. It is the 
Plumed Serpent. The animal which goes on its belly and 
eats the dust would take wing. But it can only rise for a 
short flight. Thus, South American spirituality to this day 
resembles the lasso which, when it is thrown out, falls 
back flat upon the earth ; or the anaconda which throws itself 
out with lightning rapidity, but instantly drops back into 
brooding apathy. 



ELEVENTH MEDITATION 



THE IN-BREAK OF SPIRIT 



ONE evening during the slow passage along the 
coast of Chile, whose stony desert is the most 
desolate on earth, there sounded within me once 
again that scriptural motif of the first beginnings, when 
'earth was without form and void'. And then I realized 
of a sudden the meaning of the myth of Creation. It is 
impossible to remember the first beginnings. The myth 
of the Creation of the World bears upon the beginning of 
remembrance. This is why it rightly records that the first 
commandment was: 'Let there be Light'. Before this, 
many things had been existent for a long time; perhaps 
they had existed always. Only they were dark and blind, 
and of the dark and the blind there is no remembrance. 
Long before, too, there was Life. But no questions arose. 
The question of the origins, of a First Cause could arise 
for the first time in that instant when Light flashed forth. 
That is, Light within man. It was not the light of the sun. 
True to sense, the Bible relates that the Lord created the 
sun and the moon after He had created Light. It was that 
inward light, which out of itself, out of its own strength 
and in its own right creates images. And the first of all 
images were those of remembrance. The history of Creation 
did not begin with the awakening of consciousness. At 
an early date already, consciousness existed in the rudimen- 
tary form of a vague affection of a subject's sensibility. But 
consciousness is not originally and not necessarily associated 
with the idea of Light. Sensations, feelings and emotions 
are blind, pain is dull, and the most intense or exciting 
delight of the senses of itself is touched by no ray of light. 
What, in primordial experience, looks like continuity 
and naturally suggests the conclusion that there is coherence 
and comprehensive vision, means no more than that a 

327 



328 ELEVENTH MEDITATION 

subject is directly affected -by happenings which extend 
beyond a mathematical point; the whole life of Gana, of 
Delicadeza and all emotional order may thus find an echo 
in subjective experience and yet remain veiled in darkness. 
And what, in primordial experience, seems to be remem- 
brance is merely what science calls 'mneme' and what 
already pertains to what is dead: that is, memory as a 
mechanism of repetition in the sense of a gramophone 
record, or in the sense of habit which results from practice. 
But it is a well-known fact that humans whose lives mean 
constant repetition have the least memory. Between every 
two Gana-melodies lies oblivion. It is only the coherence 
in the mental image which is endowed with light. On the 
other hand, only the light which is shed on things creates 
what we call coherence. But unless coherence is pre- 
existent, no questions arise. This is why the Creation of the 
World began not with consciousness, but with remem- 
brance. It is deeply significant that the Greek root-word for 
Truth is a-letheia, the Unforgettable. 

No cosmogony ever was born of the question 'Why*. 
Only mature intellect asks this question. Curiosity which 
awakes with the first light shed upon the desires, is satisfied 
with the explanation nearest at hand ; it is little more than a 
slightly lengthened sense of touch. Beyond this first 
curiosity, the first 'Why* was nothing else but the Why of 
children : children ask for the pleasure of asking, and if no 
answer gives them satisfaction, it is because they wish to 
go on for ever with the game of asking questions. But long 
before all questions which curiosity asks, there was the myth 
understood as Original Remembrance. As far as my 
knowledge goes, the myth truest to earth which records 
First Beginnings is the myth of the Pueblo-Indians, inas- 
much as it answers no questions at all. First, men lived in 
a dark cavern in the bowels of the earth. Above this cavern, 
they dimly divined the existence of Light. Since they 



THE IN-BREAK OF SPIRIT 329 

could not reach it, they created a tree, in order to mount 
above its crown and thus rise beyond the Dark. But the 
crown, too, remained shrouded in darkness. Then, did 
they create a second tree upon the crown of the first; and 
this they repeated several times. Then only did they see 
the firmament above them. The Night of Creation was 
there indeed before the Day of Creation, and sleep before all 
wake. No man can tell where and whether the animate 
merges into the absolutely inanimate; nor whether there is 
anything absolutely devoid of life. Judged from sensibility, 
that sole outward symptom of inward affection, the boun- 
dary line of possible inner experience is so difficult to trace, 
that no man will ever ascertain whether all that seems dead 
does not also experience sensations. If films showing the 
life of plants are accelerated in the same way as slow motion 
pictures retard movement, the course of vegetable life 
differs but slightly from that of the life of man's body; 
inversely, if the latter's processes are retarded, it can be 
reduced almost to the state of the plant. This may continue 
from being to being down to Primary Matter. But of 
this prehistoric time there is no remembrance, and therefore 
no myth of Creation knows ought of it. All myths of 
Creation bear upon the moment when owing to the 
in-break of something which had never existed before and 
which was different in kind from anything previously 
experienced things existent became visible. Then, 
imagination acting as a transforming force, made its appear- 
ance in the world's process. To physical sight was wedded 
spiritual sight. And therewith only was Life's original 
blindness overcome. Plato taught : it is not the eyes that see, 
but we see by means of the eyes: in the beginning there 
were nought but eyes, and no seers. Only with the advent 
of the power of mental representation did the world grow 
to be what reflecting man experiences it to be. Henceforth, 
questions arose. Now coherence was demanded and 



330 ELEVENTH MEDITATION 

pre-supposed. Now there were and there had to be causes 
and goals. Seen from the earth, the sudden effulgence of 
the inward Light meant a violent irruption of something 
foreign into the pre-existent order of things. It was the most 
prodigious of all catastrophes of Nature. For this reason 
alone does all remembrance go back to it, and therewith 
to the Creation of the World. For before the question of 
a Creation was asked, there was no Creation. 

IN the beginning was remembrance. Since the Light of 
Spirit first illumined the dense tissue of Gana, it could 
do no more than make things existent visible. This is the 
true meaning of Plato's myth of Anamnesis. Thus, even 
to-day peoples and individuals are gifted with the more 
faithful memory and the greater gifts of imitation, the nearer 
they are to original blindness. The imitative capacity of 
the South Americans is as considerable as is their lack of 
powers of imagination. And the first independent power of 
mental representation does not manifest itself in such a 
way that man, of his own free will, can place images before 
himself, but that images present themselves before him as 
massive realities. The primitive is not possessed of imagina- 
tion, he is possessed by imagination. This mechanism of 
projection explains why the inner Light was originally 
regarded as one with the sun. In the same way, primitive 
self-consciousness even to-day is one with the way others 
look upon a man. Nevertheless, the first product of inward 
vision was and is essentially not a reflected image, but a 
model-image; nevertheless, first remembrance already is 
imagination. Only, all earliest creative force is weak in the 
face of the forces and laws of matter into which it in-builds 
itself. At the very first, Spirit can only respond and follow. 
First originality was that of the emulator who identifies 
himself with his model and proves his own uniqueness by 
involuntarily doing everything in a slightly different way 
than his master; thus, first individual originality manifested 



THE IN-BREAK OP SPIRIT 331 

itself in the body of mnemic repetition. Thus, earliest 
remembrance seems to be fused with external impression. 
In reality, there is no transition from the one to the other. 
In truth, an unbridgeable chasm separates mental represen- 
tation from impression, however much the former may be 
fed by the latter, and however often the former may act 
on the latter as an unconsciously co-operating prejudice. 
For inward and external images belong to different planes 
of existence and to different dimensions. Even to-day, 
there are two essentially different kinds of painters. The 
one depends entirely on its model ; hardly can they turn their 
eyes from it, in order to paint. Others can only create 
purely from within. For my part, I can, without difficulty, 
reproduce in artistic transformation a face I saw decades 
ago, whereas I am not only incapable of portraying satis- 
factorily a person sitting to me, but my inner visions are all 
the more distinct, the greater the interval which separates 
me from the outward impression. 

As a definite experience, every image is, of course, a 
phenomenon of reflection. And since what is without and 
what is within touch and fuse in the mirror of consciousness ; 
since both taken together make primary experience, it can 
seldom be clearly discriminated in each separate case what 
belongs to the model or the reflected or the reproduced 
image. But this is not of essential importance. We must 
proceed from the proposition that in the beginning there 
was Darkness and Blindness and In-coherence. Into this 
broke the Light which came from another sphere. Then 
only could there be synthetic vision and inward images. 
The so-called 'primary images' which are brought to 
light by psycho-analysis are nothing truly primordial; they 
are the first effects of spiritual light thrown on the Primor- 
dial which in itself is dark and blind. Hence those qualities 
of these images which are contrary to Sense. They mirror 
Gana on which Light has fallen; in the beginning Spirit 



33* ELEVENTH MEDITATION 

merely sheds light on things, it does not transmute them. 
And since Gana-life is governed by entirely different laws 
than spiritual life, the anti-rational and strange, absurd and 
phantastic quality of the earliest images is a matter of course. 
What is astonishing is solely the fact that there should be 
interpreters of dreams and primary images, who stand the 
pragmatic test, not only in early, but even in late and 
intellectualized states. This proves how near the layer of the 
Third Day of Creation remains even to the most intellec- 
tualized consciousness. 

From here we can understand the meaning of the myth 
4 In the beginning was the Word'. This was the myth of 
Spirit in its intellectual aspect; its creators, like all special- 
ists, over-emphasized the significance of the particular 
phenomenon as opposed to general meaning. They ought 
to have said: 'In the beginning was the Image'; the Word 
is but a particular expression of the image. The primary 
image was not a reproduced image, but a symbolic image. 
There is no mental representation in contradistinction to the 
impression, which is not, in the first place a symbolic image. 
Therewith we have reached the exact definition of what 
separates Spirit from all Nature, and of what explains the 
fact that Spirit entered Nature as an invader or as a deus ex 
machina according to the way one looks at it and not 
merely as a novel quality among others. Spirit in all its 
aspects is primarily 'Significance'; it belongs to a different 
sphere than all Nature in the same sense that the meaning 
of a thought belongs to another plane than the letters which 
express it. To that extent, the fact that all things born of, 
or conditioned by Spirit are 'significant' offers no particular 
problem at all; and it is solely due to that professional 
prejudice of the 'thinkers' according to which Sense- 
bestowal can only be interpretation a posteriori, that they 
stand amazed at the symbolism of dreams and the profound 
meaning of language. The images of dreams, as far as 



THE IN-BREAK OF SPIRIT 333 

they are born from within, cannot but be 'significant'; for 
in the domain of Spirit the sentence holds: Significance 
creates the facts, and not vice versa. And thus language, 
as the primary expression of spiritual realization, must 
needs be of a profounder significance than all theory born of 
re-tracing reflection. From here it becomes quite clear, in 
what respect inward images and impressions can have no 
common measure, however often they may merge into each 
other in outward expression : the former primarily expresses 
Significance; the latter, for man, are last resorts. And 
from here it becomes clear, furthermore, why the 'Let there 
be Light' of Creation applies precisely to remembrance. 
The most exact word rendering the original process by 
which man attained an inward realization of the world would 
be the German root-word Be-sinnung; for it comprises the 
three components: remembrance, synthetic vision and 
Sense-bestowal. But since everywhere, Epimetheus was 
there before Prometheus that is reflecting, which follows 
suit, prior to forethought first synthetic vision was 
necessarily retrospective. Even to-day, most people put 
faith only in the historian, and not in the prophet, although 
the latter always knows more, and although his knowledge, 
being immediate inward realization, is more sure than the 
mere inferences of the historian. 

Thus, in the beginning was the Symbolic Image, a thing 
which is strange, and strikes man as strange, as compared 
with all impressions. No wonder, therefore, that all language 
gives the name of 'Revelation' to first knowledge of the 
Universal Connexion of things: this expression implies 
that the connexion of images in question was not originally 
contained in Nature. And it is as little to be wondered at 
that the Word originally was an expression of mystery, 
and not of what had become clear; for precisely in the 
beginning, its symbolic quality was most apparent. Accord- 
ingly, in the beginning was the Word in the form of the 



334 ELEVENTH MEDITATION 

rune, of the ideogram or of the mantram, that is to say, in 
the form of a symbolic image; it was not the Word which is 
a reflected image and an instrument of orientation, and most 
emphatically not the Word understood as a means to help 
intellect to digest the world like food, which latter definition 
applies to all scientific concepts. Similarly, all earliest 
writing was pictorial writing, and merely to read it requires 
more mental concentration than is necessary for the under- 
standing of scientific theories. The progress which the 
growing faculty of abstraction incarnates, lies solely and 
entirely along the line of specialization. With every century, 
the French language grows ever clearer, and at the same 
time ever poorer, than Spanish and German. The French 
tendency to think the general more important than the 
particular, makes an ever-increasing number of concrete 
designations appear superfluous. This means no asset: the 
fact that its concepts are growing ever more restricted to 
one meaning, makes it more and more difficult for the 
language to express in a way true to Significance what is 
essentially capable of multiple interpretations, or what 
consists of many parts in a similar sense as a sound of a 
particular tonality is composed of overtones, mediants and 
accessory tones. And thus the ideal limit of the process of 
abstraction does not lie in the perfect reflection of Reality, 
such as experience shows it to be, on the plane of Spirit : it 
lies in the entire discarding of this reality in favour of those 
elements which are capable of a pure mathematical treat- 
ment; but these precisely do not belong to the dimension of 
Significance; that is, to the dimension of what alone matters 
to Spirit which longs to understand. Thus, the most 
complete imaginable scientific idea of the World would 
exhaust the wealth of the Universe less than does the most 
primitive of myths ; for the former would exclude precisely 
what is the goal of all spiritual striving for truth. That this 
is so, is conclusively proven by the fact that the conceptions 



THE IN-BREAK OF SPIRIT 335 

of the Universe grow the more incomprehensible and 
unsatisfactory, the more they prove Correct'; they really 
lead from light to darkness, and not from darkness to light. 
Science was born of the need of certainty; it should be 
exact; its laws should be absolutely valid. Now to-day, 
everything that used to be certain is resolving itself more 
and more into approximations. The beginning was made 
by the most exact of all sciences, mathematics. A scholar 
of higher mathematics would be capable of answering a 
normal human who asks him how much are twice two 
'In a first approximation, thirteen*. Necessity and determin- 
ation absolute are no longer thought of except as character- 
istics of particular states ; laws of Nature hold good only to 
the extent that they correspond to those of the large 
numbers and of statistics. The theory of relativity abolishes 
the mere possibility of a centre of relationship which should 
exist unequivocally and once and for all. There is no more 
question of Matter as a separate entity. But science can no 
longer affirm the existence of anything specifically psychical 
either; for since science discards quality, it can find transi- 
tions everywhere.* 

This one trend of thought should suffice to prove that 
even the spiritual ideal of Truth does not lie in the direction 
of scientific abstraction. And let no one imagine that what 
has been affirmed here does not apply to the philosophical 
'phenomenology* of men like Husserl and Heidegger. 
True, this philosophy taken merely as a tendency is set in 
the right direction; it aims at concrete Significance; its 
Universal is something concrete, that is, a reality which 
can be experienced; and to that extent it is similar to Hegel's 

* For the purpose of gaining a clear idea of this fateful drift of science, I 
would above all and almost exclusively recommend the writings of Bertrand 
Russell. Russell has three advantages: first of all, he is the sharpest logician 
of this age; secondly, he is the thinker least biased by tradition; finally, he kcks 
every organ of 'inward experience', for which reason his insights are really 
'pure'. 



336 ELEVENTH MEDITATION 

Concrete Universal however little Hegel and Husserl 
may otherwise have in common. But phenomenology, 
too, holds the result of abstraction to be the goal; and 
every abstraction of this kind, however faultlessly it may be 
practiced, makes reality poorer. Thus, where understanding 
of the Universe is the aim, a doctrine of Significance such 
as the greatest phenomenologists (in the sense of the above- 
mentioned German school) might set up, would be as 
superfluous as is any unintelligible equation from the stand- 
point of vital experience. Thus, the earliest philosophies, 
as compared with those of later ages, are profounder and 
truer to Sense for the very reason that they reveal less of 
an advanced technique of abstraction. The concepts of 
ancient India which apply to things metaphysical are no 
products of interpreting reduction; they are symbolic 
images of experienced states of Being. This is true to a 
supreme degree of the few primary concepts of ancient 
China; these are essentially not exclusive, as are scientific 
concepts they are comprehensive. This is so, because they 
are pure pictorial expressions of Significance. They do not 
define, they signify. But practically they convey no inform- 
ation about given facts they evoke personal understanding. 
FAUST, for a while, hesitated whether he should 
not replace that sentence from St. John 'in the 
beginning was the Word' by 'in the beginning was Signi- 
ficance'. And he was right when he rejected the latter 
formula. There can be no theodicies of scientific validity; 
for no question which refers to cause and origin leads 
beyond a closely limited space of possible knowledge. 
But, above all, myths of Creation have a meaning solely 
from the point of view of Earth. For myths of Creation 
do not mean explanations, but First Remembrances; and 
there is remembrance only of phenomena. Only phenomena 
are born and pass away in that absolute sense which is 
necessary, if there is to be any idea of Creation and Birth. 



THE IN-BREAK OF SPIRIT 337 

Now 'Significance' never is a phenomenon; it stands to the 
phenomenon, as the meaning of a thought stands to the 
letters which express it. This is- why the first remembrance 
of the in-break of Spirit could only retain its original 
manifestation. And this was the Image. In the form of an 
inward image did Spirit as a novel quality break into 
Creation. 

There is no transition from this quality to others. But 
there never are transitions between qualities as such, and 
it is only from the recognition of this fact that an under- 
standing of the world is possible. There is no transition 
from non-Spirit to Spirit. Nor is there any from the inani- 
mate to the lowest manifestations of Life. Scientific 
abstraction believes more and more that it can assert the 
contrary. Not only in its primary elements, but also in the 
forms and ways of its being and development does the 
Universe, which is accessible to us, appear as a unified 
whole. Thus mathematics and language which express, 
or can express entirely different things have long ago been 
related back to a primary logic which is their common root; 
and of late, on the basis of the fact that, from the viewpoint of 
science, differences in kind in Nature are due to a different 
arrangement of the Same, attempts are being made to 
reduce all reality to principles of order or arrangement, 
wherewith indeed the differences between Spirit and Matter 
would fade. It would mean doing less violence to Nature, 
such as it is actually experienced, to reduce all happenings 
to the common denominator of a law of association. For 
this (indeed very indefinite) law which hitherto is recognized 
as valid only with regard to ideas and mental images, rules 
the basic forms of manifestation of what belongs to Spirit, 
to soul, to the animate and the inanimate. Not only remem- 
brance, love and heredity rest on association, not only the 
precedent whose recognized importance is the foundation 
of every possible science of law, but electric tension, too, 



338 ELEVENTH MEDITATION 

gravitation and the affinity of chemical bodies. The co- 
herence of the whole world of Gana, of the whole emotional 
order is based on association. And, here and there, the 
inanimate pre-forms organic development down to details. 
It should suffice to point out the single instance that 
glycerine has hitherto crystallized spontaneously but once, 
in a barrel in Moscow; but that since fecundation by means 
of the offsprings of these crystals makes it possible every- 
where to breed crystals of glycerine which otherwise never 
appear again. However, the reality of the world stands and 
falls precisely with the irreducible differences in kind; and 
this reality alone is what concerns us, who experience it. 
It is understandable that a man like Pythagoras with the 
discoverer's recklessness should have been tempted to 
consider the cipher not merely as the quantitative aspect of 
external reality, but as the essence of all reality. To-day, 
everybody should and might know that the formal never 
refers to the essence; that the way a thing came into existence 
furnishes no clue to the meaning of what has happened; and 
that true understanding begins not with reduction to a 
general principle, but with the right definition of the unique 
character of the unique. 

This much is true in general. But to that which belongs 
to the sphere of Spirit and to what does not, no common 
measure can be applied; therefore the mere attempt to 
comprehend the Spiritual as a component part of Nature is 
absurd. For the world of Significance is a purely and essentially 
inward world. It exists solely with regard to experiencing 
subjects. And this is true not only in the external sense 
which applies to everything which can be experienced: 
that for him who notices nothing, nothing exists; it is true 
in this sense that, judged from consciousness, the real and 
self-existent coherence of the spiritual world lies in the 
dimension of the subjective and the trans-subjective, and 
not in the dimension of what is objective and capable of 



THE IN-BREAK OF SPIRIT 339 

objectivation. Just as inward image and vision are insepar- 
ably correlated, even so are Significance and understanding, 
loving-kindness and Good Will, truth and truthfulness 
inseparable. Without a corresponding inward act, the 
Spiritual does not exist. If one would at all cost construe a 
coherent image of the world which would include Spirit and 
non-Spirit, there is but one which is not absolutely wrong: 
into the external cosmos of Nature is in-built a purely 
inward cosmos of Significance in the dimension of pure 
intensity, and at right angles, as it were, to that of extension. 
But even the most spiritual religion does not assert that this 
process of in-building is completed: it is merely stated to 
be the meaning and goal of Creation. And hitherto, at all 
events, there can be no idea of the world being entirely 
penetrated with Significance. Even man appears spiritual- 
ized but to a very slight degree. It means a petitio principii 
which no experience can justify, to make Spirit the raison 
d'Stre underlying all reality. If we desire to be and to 
remain truthful and honest, we must resign ourselves to the 
fact that there are phenomena which have a spiritual back- 
ground, in so far as their raison d'Stre is 'Significance', and 
others of which this does not hold. 

The days of any kind of monism should be at an end at 
last. As soon as it is a question of other than spiritual 
realities, the demand of unity can reasonably refer solely 
to the ratio cognoscenti; for there is nothing, absolutely 
nothing to justify our attributing more importance to what 
is unified in Nature, than to what is manifold. For this 
reason it is not permissible either to blurr the difference 
between Spirit and Life. I myself have shown in many 
places (in the form most comprehensible to all in the 
concluding chapter of America Set Free, * Spirituality') that 
Life, in contradistinction to what we call inanimate, can only 
be grasped from the basis of 'Significance'; from the single 
cell which can only be understood from the part it plays 



340 ELEVENTH MEDITATION 

within the organism as a whole, up to the most spiritual 
formations of historical life. And in so far, undoubtedly, 
all that is vital and all that is spiritual belong to one and 
the same order. This is true also to the extent that all life 
is autonomous in the dimension of the subject, and that it is 
something subjectively inward which makes life vital. But 
our considerations on Gana, Delicadeza and the emotional 
order have shown that even in the case of human life pro- 
found layers and vast domains are not determined by Spirit, 
if the term 'Spirit' is to have a substantial content. Life of 
this kind also is 'significant', but from the standpoint of 
spiritual Significance it is, more often than not, contrary to 
Sense. Thus, we are compelled to recognize that between 
the Significance which governs organic life and the life of 
Gana, and that other Significance which is a manifestation 
of pure Spirit, there exists a difference in kind similar to 
the difference between other irreducible qualities and 
this is the only thing that matters. This distinction is more 
important for the understanding of the world, than the 
statement that 'Life' and 'Significance', as compared to 
what, according to our ideas, is devoid of life, belong to 
one and the same order. 

And if it is not permissible to refer back all Life to Spirit, 
Life should not be made the common denominator either. 
Neither is a mental image something live in the same sense 
as an organism, nor do both participate in the quality of 
Spirit in one and the same sense. An ideal is something 
different from a human, and both are no gods. The fact 
that it appears meaningful to man to sacrifice his life for an 
ideal, proves that life to him is not the last resort. What lies 
beyond, he can only grasp as 'Significance'. But the unifying 
word does not cancel the actual differences any more, than 
the possible reduction of all substances to electrons and 
protons annuls the differences of the chemical elements. 
I myself, when I was young and foolish, thought it a 



THE IN-BREAK OF SPIRIT 341 

valuable achievement to reduce all things existent to one 
principle and to make them integral parts of a unified 
system. To-day I reject every endeavour to give a unifying 
explanation or reduction which fails to do justice to the 
slightest difference in kind. How Life was born, and what 
Life is, we shall never know. Nor shall we ever know how 
Spirit was born, nor what Spirit is for itself. And if we could 
learn to know, we should not understand. And if we could 
understand, we should be none the wiser. But we can 
know which way of positing the problem does not lead to 
recognition. We can experience with understanding how 
all things which are open to experience are connected within 
us, and with reference to us. And if we plunge down deeply 
into ourselves, we can remember how it all came to pass far 
down in Time. 

ONE day, Life which had erstwhile been blind, gained 
sight. There awoke the gift of inward vision, which 
was both remembrance and foresight. And in that instant 
happened what all myths of Creation relate: the World 
which was vaguely remembered as dark, grew luminous. 
Chaos formed into Cosmos; existence gained a meaning. 
On a grand scale it was the same that happens on a very 
small scale, whenever an entirely new idea 'occurs* to a man. 
This may mean that what was hitherto obscure and en- 
tangled becomes clear and perspicuous ; then Meaning was 
materially contained or implied in the phenomenon; the 
grasping of this meaning is what we call understanding. 
But 'occurring' can also mean that a meaning which was 
not contained in a given fact, of a sudden in-builds itself 
into it and therewith turns it into a means of expression for 
what did not previously exist. This process is the original 
spiritual process. This process is pictured by the myth that 
God created the World out of the void, or breathed his 
breath into the lump of earth, or transformed chaos into 
cosmos; with the in-break of Spirit, something essentially 



342 ELEVENTH MEDITATION 

novel entered into the world. And it is thus, too, that Kant, 
that strangely archaic and precisely for that reason profound 
mind, understood the process of Creation : his Critique of 
Reason is correct, understood as critique of the original 
Sense-bestowal on Nature. When he taught 'my world 
is mental representation', this is originally true, for reflecting 
man's world of mental images comes into existence only 
with the 'Let there be Light'. Intuitions and concepts, that 
is, receptive contemplation and Spirit's own activity, really 
are the two primary elements of spiritual experience which 
cannot be related back to each other. And thus, time and 
space whatever they may be otherwise actually are, 
in the first place, forms of intuition inherent in a subject; 
and causality and other categories are forms of thought 
equally inherent in a subject; to that extent, intellect does 
indeed prescribe to Nature its own laws. 

But however one may describe the primary process of 
inward realization : what is decisive is this, that with the in- 
break of Spirit something essentially novel entered into the 
world. This new entity gave its light to all things existent. 
And thereupon everything grew qualitatively different. Illu- 
mination never merely means that things become visible 
which without light would be exactly the same: with the 
quality of light a new and transforming energy is added to 
hitherto existent reality. Day is something different in kind 
from Night; colours are something qualitatively different to 
colourless darkness. Spiritual light transforms in the literal 
sense of the idea of transfiguration ; for its peculiar reality 
bestows upon all things existent what originally belongs 
but to a few: Significance; and this Significance changes 
the character of the whole world into which it can in-build 
itself. First, the order of Spirit adapted itself to the analogies 
of the order of Nature. Just as the brightness of physical 
light begins by creating the original contrasts of light and 
darkness, even so did spiritual Light, first of all, give to 



THE IN-BREAK OF SPIRIT 343 

everything on which it was shed the primary qualities of 
positive and negative value. Our children still know of 
nothing but black and white on the moral plane. Thus, no 
sooner was there Light, than there was Good and Evil. 
In the course of our meditations we dealt with the objective 
Evil of the netherworld, with Evil as the womb of Good, 
and with Evil born of wounded susceptibility and of incom- 
patibility : we were justified in using the word Evil, because 
names exist only from Spirit. But even then we did not 
doubt that all this Evil was not spiritually evil. Now we 
can understand the meaning of all these statements : Evil 
corresponds to darkness; and it is in darkness that all 
creation begins; it is from darkness that all creation arises. 
Whatever is negative, in its turn, leads to 'evil' manifesta- 
tions. But it is only Sense-bestowal that turns the negative 
into spiritual Evil ; this is the meaning true to facts of that 
sentence of Shakespeare 'Thus is there nothing good nor 
bad, but thinking makes it so'. Thus, Spirit first transfers 
to darkness which is innocent in itself, what is negative 
from Spirit's point of view. But then there is spiritual 
Significance of a positive and a negative quality which 
manifests itself in a corresponding manner in the world of 
phenomena, and this Significance works itself out with 
increasing autonomy. Thus there is original Good Will 
and original 111 Will; there is the lie as an expression of 
craft, as opposed to natural dissimulation; sincerity as an 
expression of courage, not of brutality; murder as an expres- 
sion of Justice, and not of boundless selfishness; love not 
as the will to possess, but as the virtue of generosity; and 
beauty, which at its lowest is the natural expression of what 
is attractive or pleasing, as the supreme expression of spirit- 
ual perfection. And then there are spiritual realities for 
which there are no direct correspondences in Nature, such 
as inward freedom and duty and ideals and values and 
disinterested goals. If, unbiased by traditional prejudice, 



344 ELEVENTH MEDITATION 

one judges from Earth's standpoint the 'world of Signifi- 
cance' which descended upon earth with the in-break of 
Spirit, it means a similar enrichment of the fauna as was 
the appearance of Life on our planet. Only, the former 
means a far greater miracle. It is true that there is absolutely 
no explaining the origins of Life. The driest manual of 
palaeontology records nothing but miraculous events. But 
the earthly side of man's nature is not quite sincere in its 
wonder at these events, because in his own body everyone 
experiences, and as an individual body everyone achieves 
no less miraculous things than are the metamorphoses of 
the creatures in the course of the geological epochs. Whereas 
realities which are not born of earth are absolute miracles. 

That the world of Spirit, at the very first, was really 
thought a 'new fauna', is proven by the intricacy and 
confusion of all early ideas which men formed of Nature and 
Spirit. This original complication still. survives in the orders 
of life of many primitives of to-day, as opposed to our order. 
Motifs of Gana, of Delicadeza and of emotional origin crossed 
and became involved with each other and with spirit- 
born motifs, as do lianas in the jungle; a clear discrimination 
between the various planes of reality was altogether lacking. 
There was a confusion like that which, in a transfigured 
image, is recorded in the myth of Paradise, where the lion 
and the lamb lay side by side, where occasionally the Lord 
strolled, and the serpent lived in harmony beside the other 
creatures; it was only when the serpent had succeeded in 
awakening within man the power of discrimination, that 
it could destroy the prevailing peace. But moreover, the 
more primordial a state, the more did all reality, one way or 
another, manifest itself in disguise. The purest formations 
of Spirit took the most corporeal shape. And the first dis- 
tinctions made were particularly strange, according to our 
ideas, because man awakened to Spirit visualized precisely 
his innermost reality as a thing outside himself. Thus, all 



THE IN-BREAK OF SPIRIT 345 

Spirit was attributed to the gods. To them alone, at first, 
were accorded the basic faculties of imagination, such as the 
power to let things appear and disappear at will, to retain 
and to transform. And thus human existence was cleft in 
twain. For himself, man lived a Gana-life, but his gods he 
acknowledged to be of a spiritual nature. Passive for him- 
self, he let himself be ruled by the gods. All initiative, 
according to his belief, set in from without. And thus the 
first conscious relations of man to Spirit were obedience 
and prayer. The earliest relation to vital Spirit 'Seen' by 
man could be no other than a religious relation for the very 
reason that, at first, Spirit was experienced as something 
outside self. If now from here we think once more of the 
primary concept of religious 'Revelation', it becomes 
conclusively clear that with the in-break of Spirit a distinct 
and new cosmos began to in-build itself into Nature. 
Judged from Gana, Spirit was essentially the magician; 
all the effects of Spirit were miraculous and mysterious. 
And its uncanny quality was constantly over-emphasized in 
the Conscious, because the true recognition that Spirit is 
originally the Image found expression in this form: that 
supreme magic powers were attributed precisely to images. 
Here lie the original foundations of all totemism and 
fetishism. 

Nevertheless, it became apparent at an early date that 
Spirit belongs to man's essence, and that his nature is not 
merely a medium for the influences of Spirit, such as there 
may be many. As soon as there were humans, as distinct 
from animals, there appeared real solderings or welding- 
points between the worlds of Spirit and Gana. The most 
important among these is what we may call the centre of 
morality. With man, Nature does not of itself create and 
maintain that form and order, without which Life cannot 
exist. What in the case of animals takes place of itself 
through a 'Must', is completed, with man, only by freedom 



346 ELEVENTH MEDITATION 

which is guided by, and directed towards, the mental image 
of a 'Should'.* But in order to make this possible within the 
frame of Nature, man as a product of Nature remained 
stationary in an embryonic stage. If the embryos of higher 
animals bear a greater likeness to man than do their 
developed bodies, it is because these animals have progressed 
farther in development and differentiation than man. 
Accordingly they are more fixed. Thus, also the man born 
into this world matures the later, the greater his possibilities 
of development and change; genius ever remains a child. 
From here we can realize how Spirit in-builds itself into 
Gana. It breaks into a structure which is still loose, and by 
keeping it as loose as possible it turns it into a means of 
expressing its own freedom. Thus, for the man ruled by 
Spirit, his own features become mere means of expression : 
the expression of his features, not their actual form is to 
him the last resort; out of the same features may, in prin- 
ciple, speak a thousand different spirits. The one fact that, 
with man, expression means more than form proves that 
man's essence has its roots in Spirit, and not in Gana. And 
thus the indeterminate quality of possible expression is 
the visible exponent of what distinguishes man from all 
earth-sprung creatures: that no organic state as such for 
him means personal perfection. 

But in view of millennial prejudice it is more essential 
to realize that Spirit may lack all importance in the total 
structure of man, without his life being visibly impaired, 
than to dwell upon his spiritual possibilities. What it really 
means, when the principle of Spirit is not co-determinant, 
was for the last time rightly grasped by the original idea of 
god-lessness ; according to this idea, the consequence of 

* The elaboration of this idea is contained in the chapter 'Morality* of 
America Set Free. I refer to this for all elucidations. Similarly, 1 refer once 
and for all to the more detailed explanations of my thoughts on Spirit to the 
chapters 'Culture 9 and 'Spirituality' of the same book. 



THE IN-BREAK OF SPIRIT 347 

godlessness is spiritual death, but without its becoming 
apparent on earth. The contemplation of South American 
humanity made it clear to me that such godlessness need 
in no wise mean a Fall. There is nothing to justify the belief 
that man was born as a child of God and then became a 
creature of earth through the Fall; such as he is, he is the 
child of both Spirit and Earth, and by far the greater part 
of his being belongs exclusively to earth. The worlds of 
Gana, of DeKcadeza, even of the emotional order however 
rich in soul the latter be are devoid of Spirit, to say 
nothing of the cold primordial slime, of Earth and Blood. 
What Spirit means in man's nature is still best shown by 
the image of the myth of Creation : it is the breath which 
was breathed into the earth-born creature. Spirit inspires. 
But this being so, it can animate all layers and orders of 
man's being. We Europeans tend to think only intellect or 
reason a possible vessel for Spirit : in truth it is no more nor 
less a vessel than are all the other components of man's 
nature. Intellect is the best vessel solely with regard to 
possible Sense-realization in the form of understanding. 
But here, too, lies its limit. Not for nothing does humanity, 
again and again, present the satanic principle in the form of 
the intellectual. Indeed, neither the ideal of love, nor that of 
loving-kindness, nor that of beauty, nay, not even that of 
Truth as a state of being, can be realized from Ratio. 
Whosoever stands in the attitude of understanding towards 
these ideals, places himself outside them. But on the 
basis of the insights we have gained in the course of our 
meditations, we can replace all negative definitions by 
positive ones and this seems to me to be of decisive 
importance, if we wish to grasp the meaning of the problem 
of Spirit. Only by means of the vital functions of recogni- 
tion can Spirit be 'seen' I choose this consecrated term 
here to express all assimilating perception. And since, 
with man thanks to an extraordinary development of the 



348 ELEVENTH MEDITATION 

brain his intellectual capacities are his chief means of 
self-preservation, a relationship of understanding towards 
Spirit is indeed, for him, of foremost vital importance. This 
explains, why the ideal of truth means SQ disproportionately 
much to man that, again and again, he succumbs to the 
temptation of raising it to the height of the cardinal ideal. 
But our considerations on Delicadeza and on the emotional 
order already made it clear that there are no cardinal 
ideals, for every ideal presupposes for its realization a 
different vital basis. In order that love and loving-kindness 
manifest themselves as spiritual qualities, Spirit must 
directly animate the emotional sphere. Beauty is realized 
on earth only by means of sensibility. Everywhere Spirit- 
bestowal depends upon the 'breath of God'; that is, upon an 
inspiring principle. Unless this supervenes, there is no 
spirituality. Uninspired intellect is no more spiritual than 
the belly. Inversely, the natural sentiment of maternal love, 
which of itself is doting affection, can be inspired by the 
most sublime spirit of progress towards the Light. 

But in spite of all that has been said, there is one common 
denominator for all ideals: it is that of perfection. All 
Significance is realized on earth only where it appears 
expressed in a perfect form. Now perfection of expression 
is in itself an aesthetic ideal. This seems to claim a primacy 
for Beauty. And, indeed, everywhere on earth Beauty, 
understood and interpreted one way or another, is the 
supreme ideal. How can this be explained? The explana- 
tion lies in the fundamental insight we have gained in this 
meditation, that the original expression of Spirit is the 
Image. Every image, of itself, demands an aesthetic 
standard. 

FROM the fact that spiritual life is a series of inner 
'occurrences', similar to the occurring of new ideas, 
follows that different illuminations succeed each other 
abruptly; and their correlation is revealed only subsequently 



THE IN-BREAK OF SPIRIT 349 

by reflection. Thus my idea of Spirit as the Image came 
to me without any direct relationship to those other ideas, 
that its original expressions are Faith and Courage except 
that both had been suggested to me by the contemplation* 
of the original blindness of Life which I owed to South 
America. Indeed, I myself for a time felt that what has now 
found expression in the preceding and in the present 
meditation was a contradiction. Since then the contra- 
diction has resolved itself for me : it was the natural conse- 
quence of the interference of different horizons. The sun 
does not itself see, it shines. From without, live creatures 
can only realize its light by vision. The image of the sun 
corresponds to the essence of Spirit also in this, that Spirit 
is light and image only for vision. Otherwise it is radiation, 
and there are many kinds of rays which are sent forth by it 
and work different effects in different mediums. As soon 
as one proceeds from radiating and not from contemplating 
Spirit, all problems are transposed. And then the results 
appear incompatible to the reflecting mind. Accordingly, 
ever since there has been conscious spirituality, a distinction 
has been made between contemplative life and active life, 
which exclude each other in actu. What we said about the 
problem of Spirit in our meditation on 'Sorrow' referred 
exclusively to the active aspect of Spirit; that is, to its radiat- 
ing quality, not to Spirit as it appears to vision. But if we 
keep to the word 'radiating* and plunge down to the depths 
of its meaning, we shall find, precisely on the basis of our 
trends of thought on the image-like character of Spirit, 
that Courage and Faith must needs be its primary expres- 
sions. If anything can be metaphorically defined as radiating 
from within, it is the qualities of Courage and Faith. 
Courage and Faith out of themselves 'posit* reality, they do 
not accept, nor do they adapt themselves. And this 'positing* 
lies on the near side of all differentiation and qualification. 
Blind Courage can be compared to the pressure of the rays. 



ELEVENTH MEDITATION 

With Faith, an individual world overlays the given world 
exactly in the same sense as light transforms darkness. 
The fact that light has been shed on it, never means merely 
that the world becomes visible : it grows different from what 
it was before. Thus Goethe rightly called the colours the 
'deeds of light'. Thus the different parts which Day and 
Night play in the processes of regeneration, growth, and 
recovery prove that in each case it is a question of something 
qualitatively distinct. At its simplest, Faith colours reality 
in accordance with itself. At its highest, it so completely 
projects its own reality on pre-existent reality that, for its 
own experience, solely its own world is left. But we can 
draw even nearer to the inward connexion between con- 
templation and action. In one particular case both fuse: in 
that of the spiritual creator who has an inspiration. He, too, 
stands in a receptive relationship towards Spirit; his ideas 
come to him, he has no power over them. But, on the other 
hand, they work through his most personal self. Thus, he 
'does' personally what on the other hand he 'sees'. Now for 
creative man it is characteristic that he never knows, nor 
ever can know, what he does before he has done it. Every 
creator is surprised by the ideas which 'occur' to him. Until 
they stand before him in their completed form, he only 
divines that they are preparing, and he can do no more 
than create such conditions, and expose himself to such 
influences as foster their advent. Now what else can be 
said of the quality of the man of courage? He exposes 
himself to situations whose outcome he cannot foresee with 
the conviction that he will rise to emergencies. And always 
the Roman adage has proved true: Forte* for tuna adjuvat. 
It is his very blindness which shows the man of action the 
right way. Thus Oliver Cromwell once said: 'Man never 
advances so surely as when he knows not whither he is 
going.' In exactly the same sense, the idea which 'occurs' 
to a man is a child of blindness. Under these circumstances 



THE IN-BREAK OF SPIRIT 351 

the genetic connexion obviously is what our last meditations 
have shown it to be. Long before Spirit in its aspect of the 
image became determinant, it already worked from within 
as actus purus. 

And now we can reveal the ultimate correlations: this 
working was, from the outset, identical in meaning with all 
that since we call working of the Spirit. Radiation, too, 
however blind it be in itself, is nought else but Sense-realiza- 
tion. We considered the primary 'significant* quality of 
dreams, the primary profound significance of language: 
the self-positing of man in the form of action is no less 
originally symbolic. One can always know the spirit of a 
man by his actions; and better even by the actions he did 
not consciously will, and which therefore he achieved blindly, 
than by his intentional acts ; what one knows of one's action 
is not essential for the judgment of the act itself. And thus 
the continuity of what belongs to the sphere of image and 
vision also has its correspondence in the domain of active 
life. Our meditations again and again led to the result that 
all continuity of inner experience comes from Spirit. Gana- 
life is essentially discontinuous it is a structure and a 
tissue of exclusive and finite melodies which for themselves 
are not connected; judged from Spirit, such life lacks 
meaning, goal and loyalty. Now just as contemplative 
Spirit experiences everything it presents and represents 
as a coherent unity, even so does active Spirit of itself posit 
coherence and Significance. It was the contemplation of the 
South American modality of life, such as it is described 
chiefly in Gana, which made it clear to me which are the 
nethermost limits of determinant Spirit. The nethermost 
limit in the direction of the netherworld is incarnated by 
the esprit de suite in the most comprehensive acceptation of 
the term : only where coherence of itself is determinant, does 
Gana not mean the last resort. Then only is there synthetic 
vision; then only consistency; then only possible foresight, 



352 ELEVENTH MEDITATION 

possible goals and plans; then only is there the possibility 
of promises, of inward obligation and fidelity in another 
sense than that of inertia; then only is there possible self- 
conquest and therewith possible progress. But in the 
direction towards the heights, the lowest limit of life ruled 
by Spirit is marked by the supremacy of recognized values. 
All unity, all homogeneity in psychical life presuppose 
determinant Spirit for their possibility. 

From here, then, the meaning of all demands of unity 
becomes clear. Independently of Spirit it is off the point or 
devoid of Sense. But in the dimension of inwardness which 
is Spirit's own dimension, everything is connected by 
intensive (as opposed to extensive) coherence. First of all, 
the whole exists prior to all parts. But this whole is not 
something comprehensive, it is a creative and ruling centre. 
In so far spiritualization means concentration. And this 
applies to all directions and on all planes of possible spiritual- 
ization. If reflection reduces millions of individual cases to 
one formula, so that the knowledge of this formula hence- 
forth enables man to foresee, to anticipate and master every- 
thing, this means a concentration of extensive multiplicity 
in one intensive unity. But exactly in the same way, the 
formation of personality means integration of the multiple 
separate impulses and aspirations; this one sentence proves 
that there is and can be only spiritual personality. Similarly, 
all determination by values is inseparable from the rule of 
intensive unity over multiplicity. Spirit always is unified. 
Hence the prejudice of an originally unified Ego: it is 
only as a unity that Spirit is able to understand the cohesion 
of the individual. Now if one makes of Spirit a substance, 
one necessarily arrives at some kind of monistic image of 
the Universe. If personality is born of concentration of 
original multiplicity, further concentration may make man 
a god. This was what the Hindus inferred. To debate 
about the theories whether the profoundest Self is one with 



THE IN-BREAK OF SPIRIT 353 

the Soul of the World or God, is idle; for both theories 
transcend both possible information and possible under- 
standing. But one thing India has indeed proven to be 
true: that by progressive concentration an integration and 
therewith a spiritualization can be achieved, which trans- 
forms man to a prodigious degree and makes of him 
measured by the standard of his most intimate sense of 
value a higher being. 



TWELFTH MEDITATION 



DIVINA COMMEDIA 



AMONG the many experiences which the Iberian 
sphere of culture offers the intellectual from Central 
or Western Europe, few make so strange an impres- 
sion on him as, again and again, to hear native intellectuals 
talked of as alienated; this or that man is certainly a notable 
personality, but 'Joco\ at least 'alocado* (which latter word 
stands to the former in a similar relation as 'tipsy* to 
'intoxicated'). This judgment is passed in the friendliest 
of spirits, almost in the same spirit that women judge those 
impersonal conflicts of men which to them seem so super- 
fluous. Nor is the actual importance of the man in question 
doubted. But when one meditates the meaning of this 
singularity, it becomes clear that here, too, it is a question 
of the survival of something primordial. Many peoples 
held the madman sacred. In their eyes, the possessed really 
were somehow superior to Nature, for exorcism alone could 
cure them. Already for the ancient Greeks, long before 
Lombroso, the boundary between genius and madness was 
indistinct. Russia has always reverenced the Jurodiwyi^ 
that type of a mental defective who is known to Europe 
through Dostoevski's Idiot^ as a higher being. But 
if these peoples judged from the point of views of Spirit, 
the Spaniard passes the identical judgment from that of 
earth. Hence the possibility of the figure of Don Quixote; 
here, it remains undecided to the last, whether he was a 
perfect sage or a perfect fool, and yet in his native country 
he is considered a national exemplar, nay the very prototype 
of man. 

However unfamiliar this outlook may be to the intellec- 
tual of Central and Western Europe : it presents the eternal 
problem of the relationship between determination by 
Spirit and determination by Nature more clearly in all 

357 



35* TWELFTH MEDITATION 

respects than any other. Therefore I know of no better 
point of departure for the conclusion of our meditations 
on the problem of Spirit than the one which is typical of 
the Spaniard. From the point of view of the earth, spiritual 
man does indeed, in the first place, appear alienated in the 
sense of the German word ver-riickt (trans-posed, dis-located, 
dis-placed) which implies, among other things, a rupture be- 
tween two planes. If a man uses his natural existence merely 
as a medium for the realization of Significance, this existence 
to him means little more than language means to the poet. 
How should Sancho Pansa understand this? How should 
not Beatrice and Laura have been indignant, how should 
they not have felt almost prostituted, when they divined 
that Dante's and Petrarca's love was not addressed to their 
persons, but to the image of their soul, and that for both 
poets the ultimate and essential goal was not return of love, 
but their own creative work? To declare alienated the man 
who lives from out of Spirit suggests itself all the more 
readily, as spiritual man essentially is not what the man in 
the street calls normal. He is always morbid, to however 
mild a degree. At best, he is abnormally unstable; but 
generally his inward equilibrium is permanently dis- 
turbed.* Between body and Spirit there is no original 
harmony, but an original state of tension. That celebrated 
mens sana in corpore sano applies only to a ratio of importance 
in which Spirit does not preponderate; but even in this 
case, there exists a relation of tension between Nature and 
Spirit, and spiritual fecundity depends solely and entirely 
upon a degree of tension above the normal. This is proven 
by this fact among others, that inward or external experience 
which destroys the prevailing equilibrium can create a 

* This problem has been conclusively set right in the same sense as I state 
it, but from the medical standpoint, by Ernst Kretschmer (in Gcniale Men- 
scbe*, Berlin, Julius Springer) and by Wilhelm Lange-Eichbaum (in Genie, 
Irrsinn undRuhm, MOnchen, Ernst Reinhardt). 



DIVINA COMMEDIA 359 

higher state of tension, where it does not exist of itself, 
and can therewith call out creativeness ; thus the crisis of 
puberty for a short time makes poets of most youths; thus, 
many spirits have owed a more intense creativeness to an 
infectious disease. Inversely, the cessation of inward tension, 
as a rule, leads to the neutralization of the mental energies. 
This has sometimes been interpreted in the sense that the 
Spiritual is the product of physical tension. However, this 
interpretation is contradictory both to the facts and to their 
obvious significance. It is as impossible to trace back 
spiritual reality directly to bodily reality, as it is to deduce 
the content of thoughts from the peculiarities of the language 
which expresses them. The best image of the true correla- 
tion is and remains that of the relationship between a melody 
and the tightened strings of an instrument which enable 
one to play it. Without tightened strings, no playing on the 
violin. But no music 'results' from the strings; music is 
pure invention of the Muse. And the necessity to tighten 
the strings which, again and again, makes them break, 
proves that a high degree of Sense-realization and a state 
which, could they feel, would best satisfy the strings, 
cannot exist at one and the same time. 

This antagonism between the laws of Spirit and those of 
the body, or more generally the vital norm, is to be found 
throughout and on all planes. Even the mere rhythm of 
spiritual development is not one with the rhythm of bodily 
growth. With the former it is not youth, but old age which 
normally marks the summit; in the supreme case, one may 
even go so far as to affirm: Spirit grows ever younger, as 
man draws nearer the grave. There is no harmony whatever 
between the two laws of growth. On all planes and in all 
directions, spiritualization presupposes concentration and 
discipline of the existent energies. Now the muscle, too, grows 
with exercise, and this has occasionally misled man to inter- 
pret both processes as belonging to one and the same order. 



360 TWELFTH MEDITATION 

But this is not so. Concentration and discipline with the 
aim of intensifying spirituality beyond that point which can 
still be considered the higher norm of the animal homo 
sapiens Unne for a certain degree of Spirit-determination 
belongs to man's nature is practised at the expense of 
the earthly part of his being. Hence the rapid degeneration 
and the premature extinction of over-spiritualized races ; a 
fate which the monk anticipates when taking the vow of 
chastity. Monastic asceticism, that is, self-formation which 
repudiates what accords with earth, is indeed the original 
form of life from out of Spirit. However, let us set aside all 
supreme expressions of possible spiritualization : in all 
cases, the latter is inseparable from the overcoming and 
mastering of Gana. Now the essence of Gana is inertia 
but to overcome inertia is the first command which Spirit 
issues out of itself. If the immense paradox contained 
therein from the point of view of eafth is less manifest in 
the commands to be courageous, believing, faithful, con- 
sistent and enduring all of which are particular expressions 
of the one command to overcome natural sloth it is 
strikingly apparent in its lowest form, which is the command 
that man 'should' work; in particular, in its moral intensi- 
fication that man must 'earn' his bread; here eating (the 
natural basis of all earthly life) is made dependent on the 
fulfilment of a spiritual demand! If one includes in a 
glance this paradox with that other, that demonstrably 
he alone attains to perfection of spirit, and in the spirit, 
who lets himself be guided by ideals thoroughly unpractical, 
and, in the extreme case, hostile to life, which correspond 
to the so-called eternal values, one cannot but admit that 
there is no original correspondence between the norms of 
Spirit and those of Earth. The true relationship between 
the two is perhaps best made clear by a comparison carried 
to the point of caricature between the modalities of Spirit 
and of Gana. In which respect can one call Spirit free? 



DIVINA COMMEDIA 361 

Whether Spirit be free in the absolute sense, is a question 
of verbal definition, and not of insight into reality. But as 
measured by the norms of Gana, Spirit doubtless is free, 
in so far as if cannot be bound. Significance' cannot be fettered 
as Gana fetters. Accordingly, the primary characteristic 
of all gods and spirits is that they are unreliable. They are 
not unreliable in the manner of Gana, whose viscous 
cohesion endures through all changes and vicissitudes and 
revulsions. They are absolutely unreliable. Spirits come and 
go; they disappear and are re-born and change into any 
shapes they please, and all this apparently at their own will 
and pleasure. And even so do ideas 'occur* or fail to 'occur', 
as they please. Thus, with the in-break of Spirit, self- 
evidence which is Gana's native element had to cease and 
problems had to arise, the mere existence of which is an 
abomination to the obstinate conservatism of Gana. Now 
Gana might even agree to face problems, if at least there 
were final solutions which would restore the pristine 
security on another plane. But so long as Spirit is vital, 
there are no final solutions. Therewith, consent to Spirit, 
as seen from Gana, means acceptance of insecurity, that is, 
of the one thing against which it has fought from the 
moment of the birth of First Life. This insecurity reaches 
its climax with the experience that no determinate 'meaning* 
attaches inseparably to any particular fact. All phenomena 
form parts of Sense-connexions and have their well-spring 
of Life there. But, on the whole, and in all important 
respects, vital connexions are fixed melodies; thus, every- 
body begins life as a child and ends, if he live long enough, 
as an old man ; and in every case these phases have the same 
vital 'Meaning'. Now if Spirit decides in the last resort, 
there is an end to all 'Meanings' which hold good once and 
for all. In every particular case, everything, absolutely 
everything, can have a specific meaning of its own which, 
for the time being, is the only valid meaning. Thus the 



362 TWELFTH MEDITATION 

same facts may have the most various meanings; the meaning 
may change from one moment to another, or else it may 
cease to be. Spiritual connexions exist in their own right 
and without caring a fig for facts. If the facts are not such as 
Spirit would have them, they 'should' become what they 
are expected to be. Under all circumstances, determination 
by Spirit displaces all previous order. Then a sinner may be 
nearer salvation than the righteous ; then the Ugly may be 
expressive of Beauty and vice versa; then the lie may be 
proof of a higher kind of morality than truthfulness. 
Moreover, from pure Significance are born, again and 
again, new realities to which poor Gana has, again and 
again, to adapt itself anew. But with all these realities it is 
never sure once and for all on what it can rely. And to this 
is added the final aggravation that Spirit exists and works 
only where it is recognized and acknowledged and received. 
If it is not, or no longer noticed and believed in, then it is 
shut out from earth's process. . . . 

Thus, obviously, the norms of Spirit and Earth are 
not on good terms. Our last doubts are dispelled, if from 
here we reverse the problem and look once more on 
earth-life from the standpoint of Spirit as we did in 'Gana', 
'Delicadeza' and the 'Emotional Order'. Then, all non- 
spiritual reality appears absolutely devoid of, or contrary to 
Sense. The discontinuity and finiteness and exclusiveness 
of Gana-life is contrary to the elementary spiritual demands 
of coherence and continuity; the growth and decay of the 
feelings and sensations baffles all logic and foresight; the 
injustice, the ignoring of all values characteristic of the 
emotional order defies all ethical standards; physical growth 
and decay contradict all demands of Beauty; and the 
possibility that Evil may play a positive part shocks all moral 
sense. 

We can sum up these considerations by saying that 
spiritual man and man of the earth must needs appear 



DIVINACOMMEDIA 363 

alienated one to the other; alienated precisely in the sense 
of the German word ver-riickt, as explained on the second 
page of this meditation (that is: displaced, transposed). 
The more so, as adjustment to the laws of the one pole 
blinds the eye to the laws of the other. If a man thinks that 
profit or success are supreme goals, then all demands of self- 
conquest and self-denial, from the realization of which 
spiritualization is inseparable, must appear bereft of sense 
to him. But men exclusively determined by Spirit are no 
less blind to the norms of earth. Here Don Quixote 
incarnates the prototype. All the great men who have shaped 
history were one-thought men, monomaniacs and hallu- 
cinated creatures, who lived out their own ideas with 
complete single-mindedness and without consideration for 
anything. This led to two opposite attitudes towards the 
forces of the earth which, nevertheless, are identical in 
meaning. Either the men in question were entirely devoid 
of practical intelligence; then they triumphed over craft and 
cunning by virtue of heroic courage like Parseval as reine 
Toren (pure-minded fools). Or else they were altogether 
unscrupulous regarding the means they employed; the 
significance inherent in the means themselves meant 
nothing to them. The complete amorality of a man like 
Lenin ultimately also means alienation in the sense we gave 
to the term. 

I have here brought out as sharply as possible the con- 
trast between the norms of Spirit and of Earth, because this 
way of positing the problem opens that path to an under- 
standing of the facts which is the least obstructed by pre- 
judice. Jesus proclaimed that his message brought not 
peace, but the sword : this was true not only of His message, 
but of the in-break of Spirit in general. For since then man 
was originally divided in himself. And this conflict grew 
ever more painful, the more his consciousness became 
illuminated; for more and more did the certainty grow 



364 TWELFTH MEDITATION 

within him that his ultimate reality lies not in his corporeal 
existence, but in incomprehensible Spirit with its demands 
which can be realized only with difficulty, if at all. Thus 
there sounded ever more distinctly within his soul the voice 
of that demand, which is absolutely incomprehensible from 
earthly life: Become what thou art! Ever since, the para- 
doxical longing for self-realization has been the basic note 
of all human life conscious of Spirit. 

TT 7HEREVER the sound of this basic note penetrated 
VV distinctly into consciousness, there grew up a 
profoundly religious relationship to Spirit; hence the 
unequalled depth of meaning of all earliest myths. And 
everywhere the very first relationship to Spirit was prayer, 
because, at first, Spirit was experienced as something 
outside self. And if withal there awoke the presentiment 
that Spirit nevertheless represents the deepest Self, then the 
meaning of all prayer corresponded to that of the ancient 
orison of the Hindus : 

From the Unreal lead me to the Real, 
From Darkness lead me to Light, 
From Death lead me to Immortality. 

With his first deep experience of Spirit, man, blinded by its 
light, could not but deem the blindness of Gana-life 
darkness absolute; and he could not help thinking unreal 
the nature of earth which is fundamentally different from 
Spirit. Since Spirit for itself knows nought of the exclusive- 
ness and finiteness of the melodies of Gana-life, it had to 
claim immortality as its rightful heritage. Since Spirit is 
'Significance*, it could not resign itself to sense-lessness. 
Being essentially unbindable, it could not recognize in 
bondage to Nature a last resort. Let us here revert to our 
trends of thought on the sadness of the creatures. Man is 
desolate, a captive within the closed sphere of Hell, until 
he finds the path which leads to Light. When Light has 



DIVINA COMMEDIA 365 

descended upon him, then the circle unfolds and becomes a 
spiral. Man frets, pines and despairs in the coils of Gana, 
of serfdom, of blind fate; for even though he may not know, 
yet he divines that these chains do not fetter him beyond hope 
of escape. Something drives him to step forth and out of his 
captivity, and to rise beyond it. The ideal goal he places 
before himself is a world completely permeated with Sense; 
a world of perfect coherence, in which even Evil and calamity 
would have a place. This is the meaning of all religious 
aspiration : its goal is the ultimate union with Light alone, 
after all bondage to Darkness has been overcome. But every 
other kind of progress which can be imagined moves in 
the same direction. The whole idea of progress has but one 
general meaning and substance : the possible and necessary 
growth of illumination ; a meaning which the eighteenth cen- 
tury in Germany still understood perfectly well, when it called 
progress Aufkldrung (Enlightenment). Here we grasp the 
spiritual significance of understanding. Spirit's freedom, 
even in the supreme case, remains an infinitesimal wheel 
within the mechanism of the Universe. As long as the latter 
works without being understood, man has no influence 
over it; then, for him too, in his personal life, the last resort 
is what happens to him, Fate, and not freedom of decision. 
But if he understands this mechanism, then that part of his 
being before which at every moment several paths open up, 
and which is capable of initiative, is superior to all happen- 
ings which are bound to follow a fixed course; then he 
himself can give the latter a direction. In the supreme case, 
the facts of Nature no longer mean last resorts to him any- 
where: they have for him become means of expression. 

But, at first, their obedience to Spirit is more than imper- 
fect. This is why every humanity which had become con- 
scious of its determination by Spirit, first inclined to issue 
quite naively commands which are antagonistic to the mo- 
mentum of Nature. Man 'should' be different from what he 



3 66 TWELFTH MEDITATION 

is. And since he was not different, and since he was unable 
to change reality according to his desires, there grew out of 
this not only the demand: Become what thou artl but also 
the tendency to project a falsifying image of his self which 
should deceive him regarding his own inadequacy. And 
still more did man represent the surrounding world as 
something different from what it is. Hence it follows that 
simultaneously with the striving for truth, consent to the 
lie was born ; nay, that the lie could not but be the original 
expression of co-determination by Spirit. For at an early 
date mental images were capable of infinite metamorphoses. 
Thus, man began to create poetry, long before he examined 
and noted accurately. Hence the primacy of the myth. 
Man of the early ages clings to taboos most absurd accord- 
ing to scientific standards, he clings to superstitions most 
alien to reality with far greater fanaticism than ever man of 
later ages adheres to proven truths. -And even when man 
began to make accurate observations, his longing remained 
what it had been : to in-build the facts into an image of the 
world of his own creation. Hence the primacy of the hypo- 
thesis in science. I know of few ideas so contrary to Sense 
as the belief that originally man strives to recognize things 
as they are: he fights for his own world. If he strives after 
'objective* Significance, he does so originally only in order 
to save the subjective meaning of his personality and life in 
a universe which appears devoid of Sense, 

That the road to Spirit should have begun with both the 
striving for Truth and the Lie, is due to the double nature of 
man, which has its roots in two realms in the realm of earth 
and in one which is not of this earth. In our considerations 
on Original Fear we wrote: First, Life knew of Fate, not 
of Will. Now the first possibility of escaping Fate which 
was offered to it, thanks to the awakening of a first faint 
initiative, consisted in disguise and deceit. Hence the 
original Lie. Spirit first appeared on earth in the guise of the 



DIVINACOMMEDIA 367 

actor. The batrachian played being mud, the serpent acted 
the foliage or the branch, the butterfly played the hornet. 
Everywhere, the first impulse of the savage is to conceal 
and veil the truth. Thus one may generalize and assert: 
in the beginning was not Man, but Woman; not Truth, 
but the Lie. When we came to this conclusion, there was 
no reason to discriminate so sharply between the principles 
of Earth and those of Spirit, as we have done since. But 
apart from this, it is impossible to make sharp distinctions 
in early stages. The man would posit the problem of Spirit 
proceeding from the human embryo, nay, even from the 
little child, would gain but little information : fully devel- 
oped forms of existence alone show clear and distinct out- 
lines. Moreover, there is nothing to justify the assumption 
that man alone can participate in Spirit. On the contrary, 
if we look at reality, such as it is, without prejudice, and 
if we employ concepts only in accordance with their obvious 
original meaning, we are compelled to admit : even in the 
earliest stages of Life, Spirit somehow co-operates. In the 
general connection of beings and things, all decisive dif- 
ferences are due to variations of the way in which the stress 
is laid. Thus, within man the stress may rest upon his 
minerality, his reptility, upon Gana, Delicadeza or the emo- 
tional order. Never can it be affirmed, without prejudice, 
that what is not emphasized and what is not working, for 
that reason is not existent. Thus, already when Original 
Fear begins to rise into consciousness as an experience, there 
enters into it a spiritual component however rudimentary 
and weak. With the original Lie understood as original dis- 
simulation, this component becomes distinct for the first 
time. There it is undoubtedly a case of imagination, however 
unconscious it be; for the live creature represents something 
different from what it is by nature. But from this follows 
as a general result, that the first expression of spiritual co- 
determination is play-acting. 



3 68 TWELFTH MEDITATION 

Hence that histrionic quality, that actor's nature, which 
belongs to the essence of Woman, humanity's prototype. 
The element natural to Original Woman is, first of all, 
involuntary dissimulation, such as it is practised in some 
form by most animals for the purpose of securing security. 
On a higher level of intellectuality, it is the conscious lie. 
But Original Woman attains to her completion only where 
the independent mode of being of the actor manifests itself 
in her. This primordial histrionism is something different 
from what is usually meant by histrionism. The genuine 
comedian in the current acceptation of the term is most 
truly himself not in his private life but on the stage, albeit 
on the stage he never 'is' what he 'seems'. Only for his 
r6le does he feel that responsibility, which others feel for 
their personal behaviour. Thus the mental part of his 
nature lives an autonomous life. But in principle he lives 
two lives; a thing which applies also, in another sense, to 
the poet and the official, and it is only that of the 'human' 
which he feels to be his personal individual life. With 
original woman such a demarcation is impracticable; with 
primordially feminine woman the following equation liter- 
ally holds true: she is an actress. With complete sincerity, 
she undergoes an actual transformation from one man to 
another, in accordance with what he asks of, or loves in her. 
But, above all, she must play some kind of r6le, if she is to 
be quite herself. Woman is a priestess, a courtesan, an 
amazon, a bourgeoisie; she is prudish, cynical, indifferent 
to, or interested in things intellectual, exclusively a mother 
or exclusively a lover, according to the part imposed upon 
her by the situation in which she finds herself. Hence the 
profound significance of fashion. But, on the other hand, 
she becomes de-formed, or else she deteriorates, when she 
is given no part to play. This is genuine acting on the plane 
of Life. It is not mimicry, disimulation in the sense in 
which it applies to the animal ; nor is it dissimulation in the 



DIVINA COMMEDIA 369 

sense of conscious craft and cunning; but neither is it real 
life out of Spirit, as it is with the poet who lives himself 
out in persons of his own invention, nor the representation 
of autonomous Spirit, independent of personal life, as in the 
case of the professional comedian : it is original life in the 
form of a comedy.* 

Now this is the primordial original form of all Spirit- 
determined life. A different 'Significance* than that which 
belongs to the physical and psychical organism makes use 
of the latter's organs, functions and means of expression. 
QPIRITUALITY begins with the moment in which 
kJthe influence of a Significance different from that of the 
organism becomes possible. It dawns already in the earliest 
stages of Life ; but only in man, of all the creatures we know 
of, does it manifest itself in clear outline as a completed 
life-form. Let us now revert to the results gained in our last 
meditation and thence advance farther. The specific form 
in which Spirit manifests itself is the Image. Not the image 
conditioned from without, the impression, but the inward 
image. The more Spirit expresses itself in accordance with 
its own character, the more is the image not a reflected 
image, but a model-image. But even with what seems to be 
pure copy, that only which belongs to Spirit's own order of 
being, matters essentially: for here, too, another 'Signifi- 
cance' than that of man as a product of Nature makes use 
of the latter's organs, functions and means of expression. 
And no spirit incarnated on earth is capable of 'pure' inven- 
tion; even the most sovereign genius is obliged to use 
earthly material. Now on the level of spiritual creativeness, 
too, the actor incarnates the basic and original form. This 
is the meaning of the exercises and imitations practised by 
all youth. To none do original ideas occur at the very outset ; 

* In this context I would recommend the best study I know of Woman 
as an actress: Sylvia in Richard M iiller-Freienfels' Tagebuch fines Psyckologcn 
(Leipzig 1931* Seemann). 



370 TWELFTH MEDITATION 

he begins by representing what others knew or expressed 
before him. He adheres to a model which to him is an ideal ; 
he swears by the words of a master, echoes their substance, 
finds happiness in blind belief in his teaching or his mode 
of being. What thus he represents, has the same psycho- 
logical meaning as all play-acting. But at this point we can 
discriminate between acting within the frame of Nature and 
spirit-born acting. If Original Woman is Nature's actress, 
who instinctively and to that extent impersonally plays the 
vitally necessary part which the external situation imposes 
upon her, Spirit's actor assumes by means of imagination a 
r6le which differs from his personal life and makes his vital 
being subservient to this r6le. 

The next step on the path towards personal spirituality 
leads to the play of the children. We simplify facts slightly, 
but we do not falsify them, when we affirm that the course 
of development from determination by Gana to Spirit- 
determination leads through two solutions of continuity: 
first, from blindness devoid of all problems to pure Spirit- 
determination, and thence to the comprehension of reality. 
How little the transition to the latter succeeds as a matter of 
course, is illustrated by the feeling of strangeness and wonder 
a child experiences when it is expected to pass from play 
to Life's Earnest. From a determinate very early moment 
onward, the human child is more spiritual than the adult. 
It lives in a purely inward world of images ; external reality 
to it means mere material for its fictions. This state con- 
tinues as long as the impulses of the netherworld slum- 
ber. When these impulses awake, darkness breaks in. Then 
the child feels flooded with strangeness; then it loses itself 
and feels afraid. For children in the state here described 
Jive out pure imagination. They lack all conscious relation- 
ship either to their own physiological reality, or to the reality 
of the world; every fairy-tale to them appears more real 
and more plausible than the happenings of daily life. Here, 



DIVINA COMMEDIA 371 

it is obviously not a case of play-acting, that is, of the 
representation of what is external with reference to personal 
life: it is a naive living-out of spiritual reality without re- 
gard for or to any external world. Thus, the child is genuine 
in another sense than play-acting original woman. With the 
latter, Nature herself is a comedian ; with the former, Spirit 
manifests itself heedless of all Nature, but without Spirit's 
being one with the personal Ego; a child knows very well 
that its activity is play, and not earnest, although, on the 
other hand, it takes only its play quite seriously. But just as 
there are intermediate states between the chameleon and 
the actress, solutions of continuity do not in all respects 
separate the playing child from the animal. Animals also 
play. And animals, too, participate to some extent in Spirit. 
However, with the latter this means, in most cases, that a 
fixed Gana-melody which is from the outset adapted to 
reality is practised and rehearsed. To this kind of play 
human children, too, are no strangers. But the real playing 
of the human child, which is a living out of an inner world, 
is not a phenomenon belonging to Gana. This is why Jesus 
who acknowledged only the spirit in man, held up the child 
as a model to the adult. 

From here we can perceive in general outline, how the 
Earthly and the Spiritual are connected in the particular 
respect which concerns us here. There are the most diverse 
possible relations and ratios of importance. Everywhere, 
the means of expression are fundamentally the same. But 
they can express different things: their own meaiuagt... 
the meaning of the body as a whole ; that of nych's eaitli- t 
bound psyche, a mental representation of sor^thiijg'SrtieHT^ 
finally, Spirit which is foreign to life. BfftS&rfe should 

It f - JT_ < 

beware of interpretations which simplify aMdJaiyfR.l>DkW 
facts of experience allow us to affirm this lM*sb n ]jy.pMfc".I 
tween real life and represented life, betweetUtm^exe^^qiQ< 
organic functions and play, between mimicrJMfadcComedy, 



372 TWELFTH MEDITATION 

between Life and Spirit, there exist transitions, and yet 
again there are none. Under all circumstances, every trans- 
ference of the stress leads to an actual solution of continuity. 
For this correlation, Love provides the most instructive and 
exhaustive illustration. Its roots reach down to the layer 
not only of the Third Day of Creation, but to the darkest 
Night of Creation. It is fed entirely by primordial impulses ; 
even in its sublimest forms the netherworld plays a decisive 
part. And yet the significance^ of Love, with man, is not 
exhausted with procreation and that which is immediately 
bound up with it. There is Love which is essentially of the 
soul. There is purely spiritual Love. And according to 
what ultimately determines love, the act of procreation 
which, up to the highest levels, remains Love's most perfect 
expression, acquires a different meaning. Carnal delight be- 
comes dissociated from procreation even with many animals; 
with man, this dissociation is the original phenomenon. And 
the same act may have the most different meanings, and 
always it is a case not of subsequent interpretation, but of 
original essence : pure urge to lust, the expression of con- 
scious longing for children, intentional violation of Nature 
in perversion, supreme concord of body, soul and spirit, and 
pure art. The bodily union of those who love deeply, inde- 
pendently of all motives of procreation, is play in its pro- 
foundest and most beautiful sense. And yet, one way or 
another, the whole gamut of Significance sounds in the 
melody. More and more does the wonder of procreation 
perplex me. If procreation were a purely physical thing and 
'soul' flowed into the body quite from without, a complete 
understanding would even then be impossible, but some de- 
gree of plausibility would be attained nevertheless. How- 
ever, somehow children are undoubtedly also the spiritual 
descendants of their parents. And to understand this, I con- 
fess is beyond my power, 



DIVINA COMMEDIA 373 

AT the conclusion of our considerations on the problem 
of the in-break of Spirit we succeeded in bringing into 
an intelligible connexion two recognitions which at first 
sight were incompatible: namely, that on the one hand the 
image is the original expression of Spirit, but that on the 
other hand the same is true of Courage and Faith. It is now 
our task to gain a third view of the spiritual process and to 
render it accordant with those we have gained before. At 
first, we considered the Image only as something static, and 
with Courage and Faith we disregarded all forms of mani- 
festation. But on the other hand, the Image moves and 
changes from within, and Courage and Faith, on the other 
hand, have outward manifestations. Now how shall we 
define from the standpoint of earth the specific activity of 
Spirit? Its essence is play. 

Indeed : what, in the first place, is characteristic of Spirit, 
as viewed from earth, is that it cannot be bound, that it is 
unreliable; it lacks all weight, all heaviness, all inertia. 
To that extent, and always judged from earth, the sentence 
holds: Spirit lacks all gravity and in so far seriousness. 
Seen from Spirit, nothing is heavy; it takes all things lightly. 
Not only the concept of toil, even that of suffering finds 
no object in it. There is toil only from the point of view of 
Gana; and man knows pain and sorrow only as a creature of 
feeling and emotion; we recognized that the soul is not of a 
spiritual nature. Thus, in the first place, spiritual man must 
needs impress man of the earth as wanting in seriousness. 
This is true already of the man of courage, for he puts his 
life to the stake ; that is to say : he plays with his life, which is 
indeed the current French and German way of expressing the 
same. But the believer, above all, must appear most sadly de- 
ficient in seriousness to the man of heavy earthliness. Con- 
sciously, he stakes on what is uncertain. He trusts most rashly 
despite the opinions of the sententious and the objections of 
the grave. The Christian, in particular, who puts his faith in 



374 TWELFTH MEDITATION 

Divine Grace, is perpetually playing va-banque. If he dis- 
guises his consent to uncertainty in a theory, according to 
which uncertainty, on the other hand, is pre-ordained ; or if 
he veils it by asserting credo quia absurdum y or by faith abso- 
lute in the Love of God, such 'stratagem of reason' (Kant) 
is led ad absurdum even by the female insect's provident care 
of its brood. From the standpoint of earthly heaviness, all 
belief in things unproven and all faith in uncertainty, first 
and last, are proofs of a lack of gravity. To this is added a 
further aggravation: Spirit in itself cannot be bound, so 
that the believer lacks every firm foundation for his security. 
The fact that demonstrably there are formulae which fix 
Spirit in an objective form, seems to be a contradiction to this. 
But appearances are deceiftul ; this is most clearly illustrated 
precisely by the extreme expression of possible binding of 
Spirit, namely the conjuring of a real 'spirit' by means of a 
magic word. I defy anybody to name one single fairy-tale 
in which the mere existence of the right formula kept the 
spirit spell-bound: it had to be conjured, that is, it had to 
be seduced to surrender to bondage, and this lies solely in 
the power of the magician, who himself is Spirit which may 
depart or die. From here we can gain a more exact under- 
standing of the myth 'In the beginning was the Word' than 
was hitherto possible: the myth in the first place implies 
that God mastered the technique of the magician ; the world 
became what it was, only because God pronounced certain 
definite words; had He used different expressions, the 
world would have become different. But furthermore, the 
myth expresses that God was God indeed. Let anybody else 
repeat, however conscientiously, the original words of 
Creation nothing remarkable will happen. Thus, only 
the magician can conjure by means of magic formulae. 
Thus, equations and formulae help him alone to master the 
forces of Nature, who knows how to handle them. Thus, 
juridical laws are valid only to the extent that they are recog- 



DIVINA COMMEDIA 375 

nixed. Thus, the most perfect imaginable expression helps 
him alone to gain insights, who himself can see. Stupidity 
and obtuseness are an impenetrable armour against all 
Spirit. That this is so, is made conclusively clear by the 
following trend of thought. Wherever it is a question of 
binding Spirit, an objectivation is possible only by means of 
the concept of a 'Should'. Now, what one 'should' do, one 
'need' not do. Hence the grotesque fact that realization 
of Spirit on earth can be achieved on a grand scale only with 
the help of what is most unspiritual, by brute force; ever 
since there has been Spirit, there has also existed the idea 
of the police. 

Spirit as such has as little power to bind as it is capable 
of being bound. Gana alone can bind. Spirit can wield 
power only where it is recognized, believed in, realized, 
represented; that is, where the forces of the earth which are 
capable of binding enter into its service. Unless the latter are 
ready to meet it half-way, Spirit has no power on earth. 
Hence the commands to believe in God and to love God and 
to do God's will, that He manifest Himself. Not for nothing 
did all magicians of all ages storm against the doubters. 
It is not for nothing that even to-day, as in the first days after 
the casting out of Paradise, all Good should stand under the 
sign of a 'Should'. Not for nothing must all self-conquest, 
the premise of all rule of Spirit, even to-day be 'commanded'. 
All these 'Shoulds' refer to the forces of the earth. Unless 
these are tamed, Spirit cannot work. At this point it be- 
comes particularly clear that the in-break of Spirit means 
the attempt to in-build itself into a firm order which was 
already existent. Here, moreover, it becomes apparent that 
the earthly part of man cannot be ignored as inessential : 
if man must open himself up to God, if He is to work with- 
in him, the decision obviously rests with the earthly ele- 
ment of man. Let us now sum up the recognitions we have so 
far gained. The Image is the original form in which Spirit 



376 TWELFTH MEDITATION 

manifests itself; it is nothing palpable, nothing weighty, 
nothing resistant. Neither is it possible to bind it, nor can 
itself bind. The self-activity of Spirit is absolutely wanting 
in seriousness, as earth understands it; from earth's stand- 
point, it is essentially play. But this play has its origin in 
Vision 1 and 'show' and is itself intrinsically a 'show'. Under 
these circumstances, not only is it true that play-acting is the 
primary expression of Life co-determined by Spirit: the pri- 
mor dial form or the prototype of all spiritual life is the *show-play\* 
The conclusion to which reflection led us is confirmed 
by all experience. The human child begins its active exis- 
tence with play; in so doing, it knows that it plays, but 
it experiences the world of play as its very own, whereas it 
feels the external world to be alien and irksome. In the 
same sense do childlike races gifted with imagination experi- 
ence their life. By childlike races I do not mean the primi- 
tives of to-day, most of whom represent great age in the 
form of primitive states of being, but those who invent the 
things we find as petrefactions as spontaneously as children 
invent their games, even where they follow rules they have 
learnt. Their life is one single myth. It is a myth as the 
ancient Greeks understood it, for whom mythologizing meant 
poetic creation, only in this case, poetic creation proceeding 
from an archaic state; it is well known that the Greeks 
clearly discriminated the fictions of their tragic poets from 
what we call myths. Early races live purely from within. 
Judged from earth, they all appear alienated in the sense of 
our definition. It is not a matter of accident on the con- 
trary, there is meaning and purpose in the fact, that such 
races hardly ever give a 'correct' explanation of any natural 

* This passage and the following plays upon the German word Schau-Spiel, 
which in the current language means a 'play on the stage'. ' Spiel' is 'play 9 ; 
'Schau' includes the ideas of Vision 9 , 'contemplation' and Representation' 
in the subjective and objective sense. In order to render the German meaning 
as nearly as possible, we choose the word 'show-play', because the English 
'show' has the same root as German 'Schau'. Translators note. 



DIVINACOMMEDIA 377 

phenomenon which often they observe with great accuracy; 
be it that they fail to recognize the connection between birth 
and procreation, or that they think the death of the slain 
game dependent on the exact performance of a ceremonial, 
and not on the weapon which struck it down, or whatever 
other association there may be, so many of which survive 
even to-day in the superstitions of nations whose intellect 
has otherwise gained the clearness of maturity: it means 
resistance of free Spirit to the fetters of Nature. And this is 
also the meaning of those 'unreal' orders they impose upon 
themselves and out of which they live. Modern naturalism 
is right from its own point of view, when it includes 
also the premises of the Christian Church in the idea of 
'superstitition', for doubtless from Nature's standpoint no 
particular life-form is holy or sacred. As long as they pos- 
sibly can, men endowed with Spirit play. Thus, the two 
profoundest among the social-minded peoples living to-day, 
on principle deal with what is most serious as though it were 
a game. Among Englishmen it is considered bad form to 
insist in the German manner on the serious aspect of a 
problem: humour should raise it to a plane on which it 
loses the heaviness of reality. Similarly, war is thought of 
as sport, and above all, politics as a game; British parlia- 
mentarism is inseparable from the fiction that reality can be 
handled and directed conformably to Sense according to the 
rules of a game. And thus, up to a very short time ago, 
the social life of the Chinese was one single fulfilment of 
rituals; thanks to this, the perpetual friction existing de 
facto among too many humans who lived side by side in poor 
conditions, became an objectified game, in whose inherent 
meaning a man took pleasure, however life might ill-treat 
him. It is in accordance with their recognition that facts 
have to be freed of the weight of reality, that the Chinese 
has no concept for happiness: where the European would 
say: 4 I am happy', he says: 'I feel joy'. 



3?8 TWELFTH MEDITATION 

The instance of the Englishman and the Chinese leads us 
from the naive play of children, for whom their play means 
real life, to the insight into that state in which the reality 
of earth is experienced together with subjective facts, and 
play means liberation. This is so, wherever Original Fear 
and Original Hunger have penetrated into consciousness 
which re-presents; where inescapable bondage is experi- 
enced as fate, and therewith the sadness of the creatures 
floods the soul. There, life itself is not experienced as play, 
but play is thought a supreme value because it liberates 
from the heaviness of life. Thus, none feel a greater need 
of play than captives in durance. On the 'Continent of 
Sorrow* whose imagination is so poor, the same impulse 
results in a life out of images of desire ; that is, a life which is 
not poetic creation and play, but pretence and mirage, accord- 
ingly a life which actually is a lie. These peoples in their 
present state make no attempt whatever to live up to their 
models and ideals, be it in life or in the form of play : with 
the gravity of despair they pretend to be what they know 
they are not, and above all things they wish that others 
should see them in accordance with the image of their own 
desire. Thus they push verbal exaggeration to extremes, 
instead of actually growing and shaping their lives as works 
of art; titles and other ornaments replace achievement; 
idealism and romanticism in words, feelings and emotions 
stand instead of realization of values. Debts are interpreted 
as capital if I owe a bank a million, obviously I am worth 
that much ! outward show takes the place of solid pro- 
perty, promises stand instead of fulfilment. This is what the 
beginnings of all determination by Spirit were like among 
earth-bent and earth-bound peoples. There, imagination 
could rarely do more than create a subjective world founded 
on images of desire, and thus by illusive appearance give a 
deceptive idea of the reality of things. The primordial 
relationship between man of the earth, who already has some 



DIVINACOMMEDIA 379 

part in Spirit, and the world of facts is essentially a relation 
of deceit. 

However, cases of so great a bondage to earth are rare. 
Normally, the state which has risen beyond that of the child 
is represented by an inward attitude in which play is felt to 
mean liberation; hence the primacy and the incomparable 
importance of art in early states. But here the meaning of 
what is essentially one and the same varies in proportion to 
the depth of spiritual experience. If the basic state is that 
of the sadness in creation, then art means compensation in 
general; in a world of lightness and evanescence and ulti- 
mate unreality, hard and heavy reality is sought to be for- 
gotten. The incomparable depth of the Greek tragedy is 
due to the fact that in it, in a classical and exemplary perfec- 
tion, a real tragic sense of Life found liberation. This tragic 
sense of life marks man's first awakening to his own integral 
reality which is both of Earth and of Spirit. And in the 
same way, the Christian miracle play when witnessed in the 
spirit of fervent belief could convey to imagination the ex- 
perience of a superterrestrial reality. Nevertheless, the pro- 
foundest experience of reality acted on the stage still means 
an ab-reaction. To the extent that it divests what is earthly 
of its reality, it also makes Spirit unreal ; for the latter must 
step? out of itself in order to live itself out in a world of 
images proposed from without. Real life in the Spirit 
begins where vital Spirit lives out its life through the medium 
of the person, the actor in the play. That is, in Christian 
terms, where the Kingdom of Heaven begins to be realized 
on earth. Therewith all experience is transposed. It is no 
longer imagination as such, without connection with the 
Self, which lives out its life in play. Nor is it a transference 
of earthly experience into the sphere of reflected images. 
Nor is it any longer a question of model-images which 
work as something alien through consciousness: the 
person itself becomes the means of expression of Spirit. There- 



380 TWELFTH MEDITATION 

with Life appears dis-located or transposed into a new 
dimension. 

THE earliest expression of personal life out of Spirit 
is the complete indentification of the personal with 
something supra-personal; in this state, man's life is a 
realized play. Among innumerable instances I could 
name similar examples from India and Sumer I will single 
out an image from Rhodesia's prehistoric days as it is pre- 
sented to us by Leo Frobenius.* Many thousand years ago, 
the whole existence of the kings of this country was one 
single representation of a myth through the medium of 
actual life. The moon was thought a god and a king, and 
the king had to fulfil the moon's destiny. The moon had the 
sun and the evening star for his wives. The jealous sun 
poisons him; the moon wanes and dies. But the evening 
star follows him down to the netherworld and sets her hus- 
band free. Then the moon rises again; The king on earth 
was wedded to his sister. He was allowed to show himself 
only when the moon was on high ; when it was on the wane 
he had to hide himself. In the periods when there was no 
moon, he had to remain completely concealed; none was 
permitted to speak to him. But when at the end of two 
years the evening star changed into the morning star, then 
the mighty king was led away into the depths of the moun- 
tain and there strangled with all his wives and his whole 
court. And then the play began anew. Even as the moon 
renewed itself, did the king renew himself with the ascen- 
sion to the throne of a new sovereign. 

The life of these primeval days was a show-play. But it 

* I sum it up on the basis of a lecture on this theme held by Leo Frobenius 
in 1930 in the School of Wisdom. A detailed narration of the myth in question 
is to be found in Erythraea, Ldnder und Zeiten des hciligen Konigsmorda, 
Berlin 1931, Atlantis Verlag. I am glad of this occasion to acknowledge that 
I owe to my gifted friend not only the beautiful example I have mentioned, 
but also the suggestion of some of the following general formulations con- 
cerning the significance of the 'r&le 1 in life. 



DIVINA COMMEDIA 381 

was neither play in the child's sense, nor a play in that of 
the theatre ; no more was it transposition of the real on to 
the imaginary; and less still flight into fantasy for salva- 
tion's sake. It was most terrible reality, but lived by an 
T which stood in identity with cosmic forces. The intel- 
1 actualized sons of the twentieth century imagine that they 
have finally outgrown this sort of play-acting. As a matter of 
fact, there is one most important plane precisely of their 
lives on which everybody, even the most modern and en- 
lightened, feels and thinks no differently than did the kings 
of ancient Rhodesia. This is the plane of historic and social 
happening. And even the range of the presupposed corre- 
spondence between the course of nature and the show-play 
has changed only quite recently. Down to the very end of 
the ancient Celestial Empire and, accordingly, only a few 
decades ago, it was supposed that the accurate performance 
of prescribed ceremonies by the Chinese Emperor was the 
pledge of a favourable course of Nature's processes. And it 
is not very much longer since the Pope in Rome could 
declare himself infalliable if he decides ex cathedra : in that 
instant fallible man is held to be identical with the super- 
human r6le he plays. But however much the range of this 
correspondence may contract, historical existence is insepar- 
able from the recognition of the fact that the significance 
of a man matters more than his biology; that the meaning 
of life is more important than life itself, and that this mean- 
ing expresses itself entirely and completely in the rdle. This 
one consideration proves that all historical life proper, as 
judged from earth, is a show-play. 

Down to the end of Teutonic kinghood which occurred 
in 1918, every Christian monarch, who believed in the 
Divine Right of Kings, as a monarch was not a human, and 
therefore he was not allowed to live according to the rules 
of private life. I choose this example by preference because 
the peculiar character of the original relationship of awak- 



382 TWELFTH MEDITATION 

ened Spirit to Nature can best be recognized from the 
meditation of court etiquette. This is a relationship of dis- 
tance. Whosoever would mark ascendancy over Nature, 
must keep it inwardly at a distance. The easiest way to 
achieve this, is to exteriorize the distance by means of 
strictly observed etiquette. Thus, every man, however un- 
consciously, observes a certain etiquette as a father, as a 
husband, as a son, in contradistinction to what he is for 
himself. The strictness of this etiquette grows with the 
distance which is to be marked. Thus, a king who was so 
purely and completely a king as was Louis XIV of France 
never let himself go as a man. On the other hand: the 
greater the number of people who come into play, the greater 
the necessity of an objectivation and materialization of the 
established distance. If Spirit is to rule Nature, it must of 
itself mark the limits and establish the distances it needs 
for its own manifestation. This is why we meet with a 
general hierarchic order, wherever Spirit determines social 
life. All hierarchy is of spiritual origin. What seems to be 
hierarchy in Nature is never anything else but the natural 
equilibrium which results from the specific weight of the 
forces of Gana which come into play. On this alone is 
based all leadership among animals. Whereas in the case 
of every genuine hierarchy, it is the office as such which 
creates the position; this is why among humans there are 
so often unqualified leaders, a thing impossible among ani- 
mals. And thus among humans, blood is thought of as 
qualifying for an office only, where determinate blood is 
held to possess a spiritual Charisma. In these cases alone 
do we meet with hereditary rulership; there alone are there 
caste systems ; not for nothing does one speak of the spirit 
of caste, for no caste has a foundation in Nature. Inversely, 
an articulation of life according to significance and value 
is possible only on the basis of a presupposed hierarchy. 
For if Spirit is to determine in the world of Gana, which of 



DIVINA COMMEDIA 383 

itself knows ought of Spirit, the latter must be materialized as 
such. To these materialization belong the titles which most 
humans take to be real zoological definitions. This is the 
more true the less a man experiences his spirit as a thing 
natural to himself. The hairdressers of Brazil, for instance, 
have founded an academic dermo-capillaire to the pattern of 
the Academic franaise with corresponding costumes, etc., 
in order to be able in the frame of this hierarchy to respect 
themselves as men. Thus, on the other hand, it is logical 
that every naturalistic movement that is, every movement 
hostile to hierarchy should instinctively be at war with 
Spirit. That generally it should value intellect and pro- 
ficiency all the more highly, is no contradiction to this : both 
belong to the animal sphere. 

The decisive point in all this is, that whosoever plays a 
historical or social rdle, sees in his 'show playing' the most 
real part of his life. His career is his true life. A man who 
is inwardly called to this vocation feels his life as a king, a s a 
statesman, as a judge to be more intrinsically his than his 
private life. For his calling gives his life a meaning. And in 
the meaning of his existence he sees the core of its essence. 
Now this last sentence grasps what is decisive with the neces- 
sary precision. If a man feels that the meaning of his exis- 
tence, which obviously is not one with his life, matters most 
to him, then his r&le for him is his most vital reality. And since 
this is true of every man awakened to Spirit-consciousness, and 
since recognition has no resort beyond experience, it follows 
that the core of man determined by Spirit actually lies in Sig- 
nificance. It does not lie there with 'man in general'; it was 
only as a later event that Spirit broke into the structure of 
Gana, of Delicadeza and the emotional order. It is also 
possible to rob Spirit of its ultimate decisive quality of a 
subject through a voluntary 'Fall' and to degrade it to a 
mere instrument of Gana. This has been achieved by 
modern materialism, and most thoroughly by its American 



384* TWELFTH MEDITATION 

variety called pragmatism. But then the penalty is that 
positive Spirit turns into negative Spirit; hence modern 
satanism. On the present level of evolution, Spirit is the 
core of earth-abiding man. Now from this follows as a 
purely logical result, which is corroborated by all experience, 
that everybody, without a single exception, must in principle 
think of himself as does the king, the statesman and the 
judge who holds his office by inner vocation. There is abso- 
lutely no spirit-conscious man to whom the meaning of his 
life does not mean its vital essence; at worst, if he deny 
Spirit, he may misunderstand this meaning and make an 
idol of success or profit. But even he plays a part. He who 
places the proletarian at the head of his scale of values, 
merely reverses the normal order. Without a role, there is 
no spirit-determined life. The only difference between 
'office* and other rdles is that the former represents a typical 
and not an individual form of materialization of Spirit, and 
that its origin lies in collectivity, and not in the individual. 
But even the most solitary life determined by Spirit is a 
'show play* ; for himself, every human plays a part. And as 
soon as a man means something to the many, his life 
automatically becomes a public show play. The poet feels 
himself as the representative of the spirit of his nation ; the 
scholar 'represents' science; the soul-healer stands for the 
conscience of those who come to him for aid. The private 
man in some respect or other becomes an 'authority 1 , which 
is nothing fictitious, but his own spiritual significance be- 
come autonomous; thus, in all essential respects, humans 
who fulfil their vocation deal with each other only as rdles. 
And everybody, as a matter of course, presupposes that his 
rdle corresponds to the man. The man who has not 
succeeded in identifying his rdle and his life, always feels 
that something is amiss, which is all the more the way others 
judge of his state. 

This feeling that life and rdle must be one is so primary 



DIVINA COMMEDIA ^385 

and so universal a feeling, that the interpretation given from 
case to case hardly matters. It is in principle all the same 
whether the demanded congruence is understood as a neces- 
sary correspondence between cosmic order and human order, 
or in the sense of a vocation from above, or simply as the 
necessary consequence of right judgment passed by public 
opinion. It is true that, since in all domains of spiritual 
origin Significance creates the facts, the interpretation in its 
turn conditions a particular reality and that, inversely, every 
particular reality suggests an interpretation which corre- 
sponds to it. Thus, an age of mechanistic thought, which 
believes in no inward correspondence between calling and 
Being (as opposed to proficiency) finds no leaders of inner 
vocation ; and if accidentally a genuine leader arises, he can- 
not have the influence and the effect he might have, if he 
were seen in his true light; for a spirit which passes un- 
noticed and unrecognized, wields no power on earth. But 
even the most mechanical of ages believes in 'position* in 
contradistinction to natural existence. And it is precisely the 
mechanical age which invented the science of sociology, 
according to whose results the specific character of man is 
due even more to social than to biological circumstances. 
Now, the mere possibility of sociology presupposes implicity 
that the 'role' conditions nature. It is therefore impos- 
sible to doubt that the drama of historical existence, although 
it essentially is a show-play, has its roots in reality. It has its 
roots in the spiritual nature of man. Viewed from earth, 
this spiritual nature can only develop in play-acting. And 
hence follows something more which has always been a 
particular offence to Earth: the more spiritual a man, the 
more is he a play-actor. It is this which generally, and in so 
misleading a manner, is attributed to a striving for prestige 
in the sense of earth, and therewith to Original Hunger and 
Original Fear. Why does every man, who has the slightest 
inner reason for this, desire to become famous? He does so, 

BB 



386 TWELFTH MEDITATION 

in order to found his existence entirely in Spirit; for fame 
refers exclusively to the r6le, so that it draws whatever is 
earthly into the realm of Spirit. And what fame completes, 
ambition begins. All ambition asks for a career in contra- 
distinction to the course of biological life; and career is 
nothing else than a 'show-play'. The German word Ehrgeiz 
which means 'greed for honour' is more profound here than 
its Latin equivalent 'ambition'. Honour is the most spiritual 
of all spiritual values, for it refers exclusively to the unique- 
ness of the unique. In this sense the German language is 
right when it speaks of the 'honour of God' (die Ehre Gottes). 
Oa the other hand, the Latin equivalent grasps more pro- 
foundly the meaning of fame, when it calls it 'glory' ; life in 
Heaven is life in glory. The problem of fame provides a 
particularly clear illustration of the way in which Gana- 
motives enter the service of Spirit. Doubtless the desire of 
fame and ambition have their netherworldly correspon- 
dences in the striving for power and prestige and in the 
possessive instinct. But these motives are mere servants 
here, they do not rule. The man who is ambitious in the 
profoundest sense, ever desires the impossible. But on the 
way there, he renounces happiness for the sake of greatness, 
the present with a view to posterity; he renounces possession 
and power to become a saint, and so forth. 

But every way to the goal means 'career'. That is, it means 
movement from one stage to another within the frame of an 
implied hierarchy, so that the life of striving man always pre- 
sents itself to the observer as a 'show-play' of an artistic build. 
TT 7E can now generalize. To the extent that a man is 
VV Spirit or spiritual, precisely his real life is essentially 
comedy. It is comedy in the very sense in which Dante first 
coined the word. Facts in truly human life count exactly to 
the extent that they are 'significant'. Many people believe 
the contrary to be true; they condemn the comedy of social 
and historical life as falsehood and imposture. Indeed, in 



DIVINA COMMEDIA ^387 

very many cases this comedy is nothing better. Let us not 
forget that the earliest expression of Spirit on earth was dis- 
simulation. Thus many people lie to others and themselves 
when they play their part. But this is not because hierarchy 
and rank in themselves mean falsehood and imposture, 
but because the persons in question are spiritually too super- 
ficial to be themselves when living out of Spirit, too incap- 
able of plastic creation to fuse r6le and life, or else too 
cowardly to fight until they have conquered the r6le which 
is appropriate to them. At any rate, most people are too 
cowardly to resign a rdle in which they do not believe, but 
which brings grist to their mill. Thus, a considerable part 
of all historical life is indeed falsehood and imposture. The 
leader is not consecrated to his vocation; every equation 
between calling and profession is lacking, nor does an equa- 
tion exist between Being and position, between power and 
the inner claim to power. But this does not alter the fact 
that all great historical destiny has led through states in 
which the r6le and life were one. Nor does it alter the truth 
of the recognition that facts in human life count only to the 
extent that they are 'significant*. On the plane of history 
this strikes one most forcibly, because history stands and 
falls with the primacy of Significance over biological reality, 
because nobody doubts that historical standards can be 
applied to the events of human life, and because here all 
facts provide proofs of the reality of Spirit. Peoples have a 
historical life only when, and exactly so long only as they 
live for a mission and thus pursue spiritual aims and objects. 
Every nation which lost its gods, or had fulfilled its possible 
mission, began to degenerate, or to relapse into a purely 
biological state, unless new spirit, after an intermediate 
state of destruction, assigned to it a new rdle. To that 
extent to revert once more in this context to our trends of 
thought on politics and war, and to bring them to a conclu- 
sion it is not merely a question of Gana-motives, when a 



388 TWELFTH MEDITATION 

nation fights for power and prestige: although Original 
Hunger and Original Fear are the ultimate motive forces 
of all political activity, politics, on the other hand, can enter 
into the service of spiritual will. And thus War, too, however 
horrible all its nethermost foundations be, can be a path to 
spiritual self-realization. The man who lives entirely out of 
courage, whose whole life is consent to self-sacrifice, who 
values honour more highly than life to him war 'means' 
something different from what it 'is'; and where Spirit 
rules and decides, Meaning is the ultimate reality. But 
what manifests itself most clearly in the case of historical 
existence, is no less true of all individual life determined by 
Spirit; and there is no human life without some degree of 
spirit-determination. The most elementary and in so far 
most striking proof of this fact is provided by Alfred Adler's 
Individual Psychology. This school of thought has proven 
that the line of life of a man is the primary phenomenon 
with regard to the particular facts of his life; either 'signifi- 
cance' rightly recognized as an unconscious guiding image, 
leads to full development and healthy expansion of life by 
creating facts corresponding to the true being of man ; or 
else a vital lie 'arranges' facts which are in accord with itself; 
a thing which ends in disease and calamity. If a spiritual 
image can arrange and guide the real course of life, then 
obviously the latter is essentially a show-play. 

Thus, the facts of Gana undergo a transubstantiation in 
individual life, too; a transubstantiation which is the pro- 
founder, the greater the part Spirit plays in a life. This 
becomes apparent with transfiguring distinctness in the case 
of Fate. At its lowest, Fate is what we found it to be in our 
fifth meditation; on that plane, there is no essential dif- 
ference between the fate of man and that of the eel. All life 
is formally a melody. In the case of Gana it has but one 
dimension. The melody of Fate has several dimensions, for 
it can be defined and fixed only by four co-ordinates : neces- 



DIVINA COMMEDIA 389 

sity, compulsion, freedom and accident. However, the 
personal fate of man is more than the fate we had hitherto 
considered. It lies in the dimension of the significance which 
all facts have for this one man only. He realizes this Signifi- 
cance by laying a determinate emphasis on the facts from 
the particular spiritual Significance of his particular life; 
this Significance is not contained in the external line of 
destiny. And the particular plane of personal destiny always 
is the result of self-conquest or, to be more exact, of the 
overcoming of natural momentum. Thus, the greater num- 
ber of great human destinies was realized in opposition to 
personal liking; and if, in exceptional cases, personal liking 
did decide, it was because Spirit consented to it. In so far 
personal liking and accident for Spirit lie on one and the 
same plane: just as a spirit-determined man consents to 
one accident among a thousand, even so he may consent to 
his love for one particular woman, whom chance brought 
his way, because he recognizes at first sight that she belongs 
essentially to him and is, to that extent, his fate. 

But what for Spirit is of decisive importance, is and re- 
mains play from the standpoint of Earth. Spirit is without 
weight; Spirit never is palpable fact. It is impossible to 
demonstrate its importance to him who has no sense of it. 
What can honour be to a man, for whom honour means 
nothing? What is the use of Beauty to him who fails to per- 
ceive its value? Of what good can disinterested love be to 
him, who understands only material advantage? How 
should he appreciate Courage and Faith, to whom security 
means everything? For telluric man, the world of Spirit 
cannot but appear devoid of seriousness. And it is precisely 
with this nuance that all races near to earth represented 
Spirit at the first dawn of their spirituality. I remember that 
magnificent tomb of a prince of the Church which adorns 
the Cathedral of Tarragona: laughing angels stand there 
around the stern and austere corpse. If Spirit is man's ulti- 



390 TWELFTH MEDITATION 

mate' reality, then indeed death should not be taken seri- 
ously. And thus all life in Heaven, such as the early Chris- 
tians represented it, corresponds to what on earth one calls 
play. Eternal Bliss is the bliss of children at play. All hap- 
pening is play upon a stage, for the Blessed know of no 
other relationship towards it than that of contemplation, 
or else they join in it without inward participation in the 
sense of Life's Earnest. And on the stage of this theatre 
only comedies are played, for there is tragedy solely in the 
tension between the laws of Spirit and those of Earth, and 
in Heaven Earth's law is abolished. Most exclusively 
spiritual men of an originally naive character have sought 
to cancel Earth's law even on earth. When Jesus set up 
the children as models for the adult, He can hardly have 
meant anything else. Nor did the grimmest ascetics mean 
anything else. To telluric man, indeed, all asceticism seems 
a terrible thing; this is so, because he' takes earth seriously 
above all things. But this is precisely what genuine ascetics 
never do. The particular sensations of the mortified flesh 
do not trouble them. And the farther they progress in their 
spiritualization, the more they are filled with joy. I know 
of no sour nor bitter Saint. Western tradition is too moral- 
istic as to be able to create images which would not give 
rise to misunderstanding. Whosoever approaches Spirit 
burdened with moral prejudice must, one way or another, 
misunderstand it ; for since its essence is creative Significance, 
it can know of no once-and-for-all nor of anything final. 
The only doctrine of the Church which, however vaguely, 
expresses the truth is the doctrine of the infinite Grace and 
Mercy of God: if the God of the Christians is so much 
inclined to Mercy and Grace, He cannot take moral 
questions ultimately seriously. But India has given us a 
truly grand representation of the lack of seriousness and the 
amoral quality of Spirit. Playfully, and as though for play, 
did God create the World. And it will end, when one day 



DIVINA COMMEDIA 391 

the frenzy for dancing overcomes Him. Then He will 
dance Creation to pieces. 

But only few humans have ever been able to understand 
and, above all, to stand these images which are true to 
cosmic reality. I have yet to meet the Christian who could 
realize the essential lack of seriousness in the life of the 
Blessed as seen from earth. But instead all humans dimly 
divine the Truth. And, to them, it is an abomination. Thus, 
they overcompensate their apprehension of an unpleasing 
truth by extreme stressing of the alleged Earnest of what 
belongs to Spirit. The case of the gods is well known to each 
and all : they are supposed to lack irony and humour to a de- 
gree which, were they humans, would for ever discredit 
them. The king must take himself so infinitely seriously 
that he can honestly consider as a lese-majesty any light word 
spoken with reference to him, however well-meant it be. 
A Court of Justice is hardly less susceptible than a sovereign. 
The most inferior state official wears a solemn and magis- 
terial air; and this reversal of the real relation goes so far 
that what is truly terrible and painful in natural life is made 
light of, as opposed to the alleged gravity of spiritual con- 
nexions. But, obviously, most people can really bear Spirit 
only in such a masquerade. The earthly part in man 
loathes Spirit, because Spirit denies Earth as a last resort. 
And of spiritual man, who makes light of what that earthly 
part finds so terribly hard and difficult, earth has a horror. 
Materialistic Imperial Rome thought it an expression 
of shameless irreverence, when the Christian martyrs let 
themselves be mangled with joy by wild beasts. The 
Babbitt type curses the 'dissolute' nobleman, because he 
plays with and stakes what to him is an infinitely grave and 
serious matter. Woman of the earth feels denied in her 
very existence by the ascetic, or prostituted by the poet 
whose muse she is. And all insurrections of 'man of the 
masses' whose soul is the belly, as the Greeks would have 



392 TWELFTH MEDITATION 

it, arc characterized by the fact that they take the necessities 
of lowest life in dead earnest. Utility in the base earthly 
sense is all in all to them, Man should do the Good, 'that 
his days may be long upon the land' (Israel); or else there is 
truth only in the sense of proven profit (North American 
pragmatism) ; or one pair of boots is worth more than the 
whole of Shakespeare (Tolstoy as the father of Bolshevism) ; 
or earthly life as such is sacred. One should note that the 
latter doctrine is not the teaching of Buddha; to him, 
cessation of life was the ultimate goal; he warned man 
against killing and inflicting suffering only because, accord- 
ing to him, this quickened the vital forces of those impulses 
which enmesh and fetter. But it is indeed the fundamental 
conception of the European materialist. Whosoever lives 
out of Spirit, cannot possibly take life and death so seriously. 
This is why the spiritual (in contradistinction to the in- 
tellectual) man is particularly loathsome to the modern 
masses. Hence their hostility to religion. In its mildest 
form the original hostile attitude of the Earthly to Spirit 
survives in Woman near to Nature, who can see no sense 
nor meaning in a life devoted to spiritual tasks. A life bent 
on whatever does not directly serve earthly existence, seems 
folly to her. Accordingly, she never takes man with his 
aims and goals really seriously, whatever she may pretend. 
For her, he is the irresponsible adventurer, the hazarder, 
the gambler, the eternal child. And this he really is. But 
for this very reason he is the original bearer of Spirit. Earth 
alone is weighty and thinks things heavy and hard. 

For the whole problem of suffering, in all its depth, is 
also a problem of earth. The misunderstanding which lies 
in the idea that suffering and sorrow should be connected 
with Spirit owes its origin to the prejudice that all depth 
must needs be depth in the direction of Spirit. There also 
is depth of earth. That in woman's life suffering plays a 
prominent part, whereas man instinctively refuses to take 



DIVINA COMMEDIA 393 

notice of it, is due to the fact that woman is the more 
earthly part of humanity. For this very reason she is more 
soulful. Soul, too, belongs to earth. Now man is a human 
by virtue of the fact that he has a soul, that originally he is 
centred in the emotional sphere. Therefore, spirituality 
without soul is inhuman. It is a spirituality of this kind 
which, in the extreme case, characterizes the devil. And thus 
an intellectualized man, whose emotional nature has 
dwindled, always impresses one as inferior as a human being. 
Only the perfectly human man, who has reached spiritual- 
ization, is the goal of human aspiration. Hence, then, the 
spiritual significance of suffering. Suffering is spiritual 
only in an indirect sense, for only the soul which belongs 
to earth can suffer; but for man, it is precisely the spiritual- 
ization of the soul which matters. With all his upward 
striving, man who, for the greater part, is a creature of the 
earth, never wishes to cease being human. This truth finds 
a sublime symbolic illustration in the legend of Christ. 
The Son of God had to become completely human ; He had 
to empty the cup of all earthly suffering; yea, He had to 
descend below the earth to Hell, in order that men should 
become capable of following Him into the Kingdom of 
Eternal Bliss. If one substitutes *man's spiritual nature' 
for 'the Son of God', then that which is affirmed of Christ 
is true of every man. There can be spiritualization which 
does not de-form man, only where his earthly part is fully 
developed. And the development of this part, not that of 
Spirit, creates the capacity of suffering. Thus, it remains 
true that one can measure the depth of a man by his 
capacity to suffer : the depth in question is depth of earth. 
This depth alone can be wedded to profoundest Spirit; for 
everywhere depth corresponds to depth, never is there a 
correspondence between depth and surface. In so far depth 
of earth means readiness for any kind of depth. This aspect 
of the problem is better illustrated by the legend of Buddha 



394 TWELFTH MEDITATION 

than by the legend of Christ, for Buddha did not begin 
his career as the Son of God. He began with the experience 
of overwhelming grief. Like no man before nor after him, 
did he understand that life on earth is suffering. But then he 
showed a way to make suffering cease. And therewith all 
weight and heaviness of earth dissolved for him. 

And therewith he also lost that kind of gravity and earnest 
which is dear to the earth. This vanishes in proportion to 
the growth of spiritualization. The same evolution which 
leads the man devoid of soul to diabolic laughter, calls out 
the quality of playfulness in the man, whose soul is rich. 
Surely, not only the God-seeker, not only the artist but also 
the actor in the current sense takes his r6le 'seriously'. But 
this seriousness has nothing in common with the gravity 
of earth's heaviness. It is no other seriousness than that of 
the child at play. The question of difficulty and toil does 
not arise. Whosoever is a child of Spirit rejoices in his work. 
Aspiring man rejoices in difficulty, he rejoices in vexation, 
for precisely these enable him to realize Spirit; for Spirit 
stands in a relationship of tension to Nature. Thus it was 
true inner experience which found expression in the thanks 
which so many saints have offered up to their God for the 
tribulations with which He had afflicted them. 
T ONG since our trends of thought have carried us 
JL^/beyond the definition of the relationship between 
Spirit and Earth with which this meditation began, accord- 
ing to which the world of Spirit is a dis-located (ver-riickte) 
world. It is now our task to complete this turn explicitly. 
The Spiritual wrests itself free from Gana in the form of 
dissimulation, of the lie, of original play-acting. Pure play 
which takes no heed of reality after the fashion of childish 
play is its first pure expression. The earliest bonds of Spirit 
to earth's reality from out of the consciousness of Spirit's 
sovereignty are arbitrary relations: be it that earthly life 
'should' be what it is not; be it that the existence of an 



DIVINA COMMEDIA 395 

equation between cosmic and earthly processes is pre- 
supposed which has no foundation in reality an equation 
such as the lives of the ancient kings of Rhodesia represented. 
From the discrepancy between Spirit and Earth, which 
man recognizes or divines, from the suffering this discrep- 
ancy causes him, he takes refuge again and again in pure 
theatrical show. But if the subject's consciousness of Spirit 
has consolidated, then a new relationship between this 
consciousness and the forces of earth becomes possible : the 
relation between Significance and means of expression. 
What before was a side-by-side, now becomes a one-within- 
another. And Spirit rules from within. 

Let us here revert to that point in our meditations on the 
in-break of Spirit, where we dealt with the physiological 
conditions which enable Spirit to in-build itself into life. 
The organic or vital part of mans' being never and nowhere 
is that with which he feels one in his innermost depths. 
Not the coined form, but the expression of his features 
represents his 'self. From the vital importance of the *r6le' 
follows that not the facts, but the meaning of his life is the 
last resort of his self-consciousness. If now we plumb the 
depths of this last definition, we understand why it is in- 
herent in man to strive beyond every state he has reached, 
however high it be: it is impossible to conceive, or even to 
imagine a 'Significance* which would be ultimate and con- 
clusive. This is why the Hindus, those sharpest and most 
truthful of all self-observers, defined the supreme state as 
that which dwells on the far side of all name and form. It 
is understandable enough that most people in all ages 
should have sought to deceive themselves with regard to this 
state of things. Original Fear within them cried so loudly 
for security, that most humans have made a stop at some 
point and essentialized some kind of 'Significance' as a 
finally true dogma, or as the absolutely supreme state, or 
as the ultimate goal. But how little they felt at their ease in 



396 TWELFTH MEDITATION 

these manoeuverings is proven by the threats with the help 
of which every resort alleged to be the last sought to vindi- 
cate its right. He who refuses to believe that a certain 
dogma is 'the' truth, goes to Hell. The man who dares 
doubt in the slightest degree the 'Majesty' of the sovereign, 
must die. The fact is, that it is impossible even to imagine a 
4 Significance' as being ultimate in the absolute sense. Spirit 
is as essentially infinite, as all things non-spiritual are finite. 
Accordingly, every realized meaning opens up new 
horizons. In the sphere of understanding this means: every 
symbolic image can be seen through, and once it is seen 
through, its quality of a last resort vanishes. In the domain 
of active life the same statement means: no fulfilment fulfils 
longing, no achievement satisfies ambition. As a spirit, 
every man desires perpetual progress. Here, too, the 
Hindus have grasped most profoundly what is true of all 
spirit-determined men. From one life to another he 
literally follows a career which leads him to and from gods 
and super-gods onward to the sphere of the Nameless. 
Therefore, one may generalize and say: exactly to the 
extent that Spirit is vital within a man, exactly to that 
extent is he restless and dissatisfied. There is profound 
Sense true to reality in the fact that man puts his faith in 
ideals which are unattainable in their essence. It is from 
realization of the same Sense that man idealizes what he 
reverences. For the same reason he feels the need to give 
himself up entirely to what is superior to himself. It is 
from the models man chooses that we can best gauge at 
what positive goal spiritual man is aiming. All models 
which have held their ground throughout the centuries 
were the images of supremely spiritualized beings, however 
various the natural mediums through which the light shone 
may have been. This can have but one meaning: man 
recognizes himself, such as he desires to become and to be, 
in those only, in whom that process has reached some kind 



DIVINA COMMEDIA 397 

of final stage which began with the in-break of Spirit into 
human nature. He recognizes himself in those alone, in 
whom the 'Let there be Light' has illuminated and trans- 
formed all the orders of Life. From this results the logical 
conclusion : as seen from man, it is in spiritualization that lies 
the meaning of the whole world process. 

Whether this be the true and ultimate meaning of the 
world process, we shall never know. Still less shall we ever 
know whether the world process as a whole has any meaning* 
No solid argument can be advanced against a pessimism 
which affirms that man represents an unsuccessful experiment 
within Creation. Life, under all circumstances, is a most 
questionable thing: since it is suffering in its very essence, 
its own justification certainly does not lie in itself pro- 
vided it is at all permissible to speak of justification here. 
But this much can be affirmed with certainty, and with as 
great a certainty as has been attained in the case of the best 
studied processes of Nature: that in the spiritualization of 
the world lie the meaning and the goal of human life. The 
quintessence of every evolutionist religious doctrine is 
contained in that paradoxical sentence of Hegel's 'God is 
essentially a result*. There is not one single religion 
which teaches anything fundamentally different, whatever 
the wording of its dogma may be. The particular expression 
modern Christianity has given to this doctrine is the 
command to realize the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. 
All fight against Evil and Ugliness, against pain, suffering, 
disease and death has a meaning only on the basis of the 
premise that man desires to make life something different 
from what it originally is. Just as technical science subjects 
anorganic Nature to the law of human will, even so is Life 
on earth to conform to the ideals of man. And the fact that 
these ideals have no foundation in Nature does not tell 
against them on the contrary, it is precisely in the realiza- 
tion of something which, judged from Nature, is novel and 



398 TWELFTH MEDITATION 

unfounded, that lies the meaning and the goal of human 
existence on earth. And this holds true independently of 
the question whether their realization is possible or not. 
The proof is provided by the upward striving natural to 
man and his involuntary judgments of value. It should not 
be forgotten: Spirit is essentially infinite. Other peoples 
endowed with Spirit-consciousness have not restricted their 
aims to earth; all those who were inspired or influenced by 
India's spirit, assumed that man in the process of spiritual- 
ization rises from earth to ever higher world. In this case, 
man takes the improvement of earth less seriously than does 
the West; but all the more is he in earnest in his striving 
for spiritualization itself: Nirvana means nothing else than 
spiritualization absolute, in which then, naturally, all that is 
Earthly evanesces. 

But whatever the concrete goals may be in each separate 
case: spiritualization as such was and 1 is the final aim and 
object of all spiritually striving men. All idealism, all 
spiritual dynamism has this one meaning. It is striving for 
spiritualization which animates all will to culture. Striving 
for spiritualization already manifests itself in the desire to 
master Nature's forces. It is striving for spiritualization 
which is expressed in every attempt to overlay the orders of 
Gana and of emotional life with an order determined by 
ethos. Striving for spiritualization is, above all, the meaning 
of every endeavour to stamp upon earthly life the impress 
of Beauty. But whatever may be true of the world at large 
the real object of spiritualization is man's inner being. 
The Spiritual result of a century of rationalization, techniza- 
tion and institutionalism is proof positive of the fact that it 
is impossible to improve the world from without, while 
disregarding the inner state of man. In the course of this 
one short century, Spirit has become so superficial and so 
external a thing, it has so completely lost its transforming 
power, that to-day we are face to face, horror-stricken, with 



DIVINA COMMEDIA 399 

a supremacy of the dead and the laws of the dead, such as 
there never has existed since human life awoke on earth. 
Thus, the problem of the World's spiritualization is 
inseparable from the spiritualization of man. Here, then, 
Spirit's demand of unity sets in, the meaning of which we 
analysed at the end of the preceding meditation. The path 
which leads Spirit to itself is the road of concentration and 
integration; these concepts define the way in which all 
things non-spiritual are drawn into the Kingdom of Spirit. 
Spiritualization's first demand naturally is that man unify 
himself. Originally, he lives multiple forms of existence. 
His minerality, his reptility, Blood within him, the layers of 
Gana, of Delicadeza and of the Emotional Order, at first, 
are all autonomous entities. And thus also the Spiritual 
in man first lives itself out in the form of a detached show- 
play. Accordingly, its earliest expression was the lie. Spirit 
demands that all this multiplicity be unified. It demands a 
general integration. However, where Spirit determines, 
this integration can take place only upon its own plane of 
existence. This is the plane of the 'show-play'. Thus man 
demands that all life, without one single exception, should 
become an integral component of a meaningful whole 
which Spirit governs. It is this all-embracing Show Play 
which includes Hell and Earth and Heaven as integral 
components, which Dante called Divina Commedia. 

SINCE Spirit is an inspiring Sense-principle which of 
tself can in-build itself into everything, the goal can be 
attained. But which is the road that leads there? Let us 
revert to another trend of thought in our preceding medita- 
tion. Spirit's primary expression is the Image. And the 
primary Image was not a reflected, but a symbolic image. 
In the book of Genesis it is said : God created man in His 
own image, in the image of God created He him. This 
means: the spiritual image was there before man, the 
bearer of Spirit. This was originally true. But this is no 



4oo TWELFTH MEDITATION 

less true even to-day. From the Image as a model-image 
arose all Spirit-born reality. To all inadequacy the Russian 
people react with the exclamation Besobrasie! Besobrasie 
means literally 'imagelessness'. This exclamation arises 
from the divination of the truth that, were there a model, 
the facts of life would of their own accord adapt themselves 
to it. Thus, all historical realities are originally born of 
images. Everywhere, images of the gods existed prior to 
deeds of man. All historical happenings have their actual 
well-spring in the myth. Every myth is a model-image. 
It is in the myth that every possibility which lies in a people 
first takes shape; and wherever a people attained to per- 
fection, this means that reality assimilated itself to the 
pre-existent myth. With peoples one should not say: Ye 
shall know them by their fruit; but: Ye shall know them by 
their myths: for all harvests depend on the year and the 
seasons, whereas the myth holds true and works as long as 
a people lives. In the Argentine is happening even now, 
before our very eyes, what occurred in Europe in legendary 
days. It is hardly fifty years ago since Jos Hernandez 
wrote his Martin Fierro. To-day this tale of the life of the 
gaucho is the national epopee of the Argentine. Every 
immigrant gives himself up to the atmosphere which 
pervades this book; from this poem he takes over the root- 
values of his new home-country. It is irrelevant that the 
gaucho this poem glorifies no longer exists; nor is the figure 
of the gaucho as such of any importance. The gaucho 
incarnates as a model, in an archaic form, the image of the 
soul of Argentine man in the making, and at the same 
time he incarnates the same man's ideal of his own future 
perfection. Thus this man, in whose veins any blood may 
flow, creates and shapes himself in accordance with the 
model-image of the hero he reverences, even as the Lord 
created man in His own image. 

And the model thus acts creatively, without its being 



DIVINA COMMEDIA 401 

necessary that man as a product of Nature should do any- 
thing else than give himself up to it. Spirit, which, from 
earth's standpoint, is an unreal image; Spirit, which cannot 
be bound nor itself bind, whose plane of existence is the 
comedy Spirit is able, without using violence nor coercion, 
to penetrate and to master the viscous reality of Gana. 
This is true on all planes ; I first mentioned that of history, 
only because it can best be surveyed. On all planes, a clear 
model-image which is attentively and perseveringly fixed 
by inner vision, of itself and without further will or action 
on man's part, makes Nature automatically develop in a 
manner true to the image, and tread paths different from 
those it would of itself have taken. This is the Great 
Arcanum of Spirit-realization. Cou has mechanized it for 
modern consciousness and therewith turned it into some- 
thing banal, superficial and petty. But if one forgets all 
stupid Coudism, one can without damage make use of 
Coup's formulae. It is true: mental representation as such 
creates reality. On the supreme level, this applies to 
religious absorption and to Yoga. Here, too, not straining 
of will and exercise transform, but passive surrender 
does so. The former is necessary only as a preliminary 
stage, in order to discipline Gana and the nerves. Once this 
discipline is attained, spiritual aims and objects no longer 
necessitate straining, but on the contrary only relaxation. 
Now what is true of Yoga, applies to every possible goal 
man sets himself. From the imagination of the goal as such 
follows that it is attained. From clear decision as such 
results success. The man who lacks clarity and decision, 
achieves nothing, because he mistakes the laws of Spirit. 
Effort and work never mean more than a road which 
inspired man in the supreme case can entirely dispense 
with. Then, when he has realized a goal, it is true to Sense 
that he should speak of Revelation or Grace. The nature of 
this mysterious process is best grasped not by the contem- 
cc 



402 TWELFTH MEDITATION 

plation of -those of its manifestations, which in man's eyes 
involuntarily seem to be one with achievements burdened 
with earth's heaviness, but by such manifestations, where a 
misunderstanding of this kind cannot arise. Since the 
World War everyone ought to know that a well-chosen 
slogan can produce greater effects than all correctness, all 
efficiency and all proofs. This is so, because the 'right 
designation 9 (as ancient China called it) as an image auto- 
matically calls out determinate processes of the soul. 
Napoleon's armies conquered the world, because Napoleon 
like no other man mastered the art of composing orders. 
Bolshevism became possible, because Lenin's decrees were 
couched in such a form that they literally amounted to a 
de-creation of the world. And thus all progress and all 
change on a grand scale are due purely to the creative 
effect of images. Always the legend of a great man has been 
a million times more important than his actual achieve- 
ments. The greatest influence has perhaps been produced 
by the hermits who did nothing save that occasionally they 
uttered a word or performed a symbolic action. All Christi- 
anity goes back to a few words and a few symbols. On things 
similarly imponderable and incommensurate rest all pro- 
found influences wrought by all creative minds. The 
masterpieces as such are of the least importance. Those 
of the very greatest are forgotten so far as the great 
ever created any. The supreme spirits produced by 
mankind simply existed and influenced the world as model- 
images. The truly great man involuntarily in-builds into 
any kind of situations his own meaning, and thereby turns 
them into symbols of what he alone is and knows and wills ; 
and then these symbols, of themselves, transform the world. 
More important things on earth are due to a smile, a light 
gesture, a brief conversation among a very few, than owe 
their existence to the expeditions of hosts of armed men. 
In our first meditation we pondered the possibility of 



DIVINA COMMEDIA 403 

continuing the creation of the world: this continuance is 
achieved precisely in this imperceptible way. If now we 
include in a glance all the trends of thought we have 
followed in the course of this meditation, we may finally 
accept the following general sentence: Nothing else than a 
'show-play* is necessary, in order to create reality. 

Technically, the ascetic and the actor belong to the same 
plane of existence. Whosoever gives himself up to an image, 
identifies himself with it, and in the reaction upon him the 
image transforms him. Whether this happens on the plane 
of the representation of a role, or in the sense of a real 
transformation: in form and in principle the process is the 
same. It is the same also with regard to the discipline and the 
concentration required; until an actor masters his gestures 
and movements, he has hardly to practise less Yoga, than 
does the man who strives for religious perfection. Finally 
and above all, the road of practice in itself already is play- 
acting. The Yogi 'plays' his part, until he 'becomes*. All 
technique of meditation is rite and ceremony. All begin 
with keeping at a distance from original Nature. Here the 
exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola provide the prototype : 
they proceed from the premise that to experience in imagin- 
ation determinate successions of images, creates a corre- 
sponding reality. But the way of keeping images before the 
inner eye is not only the way of the ascetic and the comedian 
it is also the traditional way of the magician. If this has 
become clear to us then we realize, first of all, that a 
straight line leads from primordial sorcery to modern 
world-mastery. As a deus ex machina did Spirit first enter 
into Nature as a creative and transforming force; it out- 
witted Nature and held it spell-bound by means against 
which Nature has no weapons. And it is thus that Spirit's 
working was understood for thousands of years. But the 
scientific formula, too, is at bottom a magic formula: a 
mere 'spoken spell' compels Nature to change its course. 



404 TWELFTH MEDITATION 

But then we perceive that all self-perfection and spiritualiza- 

tion is even more truly the result of magic. From here 

then, first of all, the light of understanding is shed on that 

road, so strange at first sight, which leads from the Original 

Lie to striving for Truth. There is no such thing as an 

original urge to truth, such as animates the scientific 

investigator. Earth-life knows of science only as a means 

of self-preservation. But Spirit, too, originally knows only 

of self-assertion. As an autonomous entity it lives in its 

own right. Far from desiring to adapt itself to facts, it 

begins its working on earth, where it takes any heed of 

earth at all, by deception and delusive pretence. Later, it 

does indeed aim at truth. But never does it aim at external 

truth understood as a correspondence between mental 

image and objects : its goal is inward truth as the expression 

proper of its own personal reality; for this reason alone 

could every new religion proclaim as 'the Truth' its own 

revelation, however alien to the earth. Now the ideal of 

truth even to-day has nothing in common with those of 

scientific exactness and empiric truthfulness : it refers solely 

to the fulfilment of the commandment 'Become what thou 

art!' Therewith the idea of truth becomes one with the 

idea of Sense-realization. This is why man strives for truth 

as for the light: not because he would see, but because he 

would be. He would become Light. He would become light, 

because light for him means Spirit; because he feels the 

profoundest essence of his being to be spiritual, and because 

he would completely realize himself. He desires to become 

light, because in itself Spirit understood as Vision seen' is 

one with Spirit in the form of actus purus, of Courage and 

Faith, and because he cannot be himself, unless meaning 

and expression also are one in the sense of truth. Hence the 

command to be truthful. This command is contrary to 

Sense OB the .plane of Delicadeza; it is of no interest nor 

importance with Regard to external Nature, for fundament- 



DIVINA COMMEDIA 405 

ally things external do not matter. On the plane of social 
life it is, above all, a command of expediency from the 
standpoint of administration and law. But dissimulation and 
transposition of the planes is always detrimental with 
reference to man's own spirit. There, untruthfulness in 
the extreme case leads to spiritual death. There, truthful- 
ness is the one path to Life. 

From here we can attain to the ultimate understanding 
of how the show-play and self-realization are correlated. All 
comedy is fulfilment of meaning. But everything depends 
upon which kind of Significance is determinant: whether 
it be Significance taken over from without, Significance 
born of imagination, or finally the vital and true creative 
Significance of man's own Spirit. If this last is true, then 
play-acting as such is self-realization. For then this play- 
acting does not represent what is existent, but what will 
and should come into existence. Just as the eye can only 
look to the outside, even so can only the projection to the 
outside of inward reality lead to the latter's realization, for 
itself as well as for others. No man has ever by intro- 
spection learnt to know, even in theory, what he is; for at 
best introspection reveals the connexion of present and past; 
never does it reveal the connexion between present and 
future, which alone matters practically, since it is life's 
foremost characteristic to strive onward in one direction 
only. Realization of the future is possible only by means 
of a representation of what is still beyond one's knowledge. 
This unknown reality becomes real precisely by means of 
its representation. Here, too, the command is: 'Let there 
be Light'. Representation transposes a given state from the 
virtual to the actual, thus fixing it in the 
mena, and thereby only does it reveal it 
But this at the same time creates the possmmyrJF passin 
beyond the state in question. C. G. 
one of the typical ways of psychological 




406 TWELFTH MEOITATION 

elevate things from the level of the object to the level of the 
subject: according to him, man begins by experiencing 
his inward reality as something outside himself, and he 
draws this reality back into himself in the course of inte- 
gration. It is precisely this mechanism which enables man 
to progress beyond what he was. On the other hand, thus 
only can he do so; once he has exteriorized an inner state, 
the latter for him becomes a new point of departure. Thus, 
man must again and again represent his inner reality in 
external form in order to progress. The young writer 
must write, not merely think, in order to become what he 
is; he must not only write, he must publish: for solely by 
fixing himself first in imperfect form can he pass beyond it 
and one day attain perfection. Such fixation creates all the 
stages and levels on the plane of realized Spirit. Here we 
find the nethermost significance which attaches to resolu- 
tions and promises. Spirit cannot be bound from without; 
but, on the other hand, it may bind itself of its own free 
will. And once it is bound in a determinate way, it is capable 
of a new form of self-representation, which before was 
beyond its reach. Spirit now sees itself such as it is, and now 
its hidden deeps are ready to generate anew. But what has 
taken external shape instantly turns into a model, be it in 
the positive or the negative sense. Under all circumstances, 
the mere fact that an inner reality has been exteriorized, 
means that growth has passed beyond it. Thus Spirit 
must create world upon world, in order to realize itself. 
All inner states which have taken outward shape, by virtue 
of this very fact become new beginnings. They become new 
model-images for their creators and react upon them. In 
this sense the peoples are the sons, and not the fathers, of 
their deeds. In this sense, all mature spirits are the fruit 
of their own imperfections. In this sense, all saints are the 
children of their sins. In this sense, every man has need of 
his own work if he would progress : after he has created his 



DIVINA- COMMEDIA 407 

work, he is another and a different man from what he was 
before. And the same work can create a new point of 
departure for all who accept it as a model. . . . 



. , . Jesus of Nazareth has said: I came not to send 
peace, but a sword. And again He has said: I am not 
come to destroy, but to fulfil. These two sentences trace 
with that ultimate distinctness which first vision alone makes 
possible, the general outlines of the whole problem of 
Spirit. As an invader did Spirit penetrate into an age-old 
order. Ever since there has been unrest in man, and this 
unrest must last until Spirit has gained the final victory. 
For henceforth Spirit is the core of man's being. But Spirit 
cannot gain the mastery by violence. Wheresoever it has 
made the attempt, it has lost itself. If Spirit thought to 
subject the world to a moral law by violence, the world grew 
more evil than it had been before. If by its decree the world 
was to become more beautiful, it merely grew more deceitful. 
If the world, tamed by intellect, was to be the slave of man, 
man became de-humanized and finally was subjected to the 
servitude of dead matter. Only when Spirit in-builds itself 
gently into existent reality; only when it 'fills and fulfils' as 
Jesus of Nazareth meant it, can it hope to triumph. It must 
understand the whole of reality, such as it is. It must 
recognize and acknowledge it, such as it is. Then only 
is it on an equality with that which it would change. But 
in its most secret depth, Spirit cannot acknowledge earth, 
such as it is. Too much does it contradict all Spirit's ideals. 
Thus if Spirit broke into the kingdom of Earth of its own 
free will, it can only have meant what is not of earth, and 
what passes the comprehension of earth. . . .